Hanging from backyard plants and sometimes the house windowsills are small jade green sacs where Monarch butterfly caterpillars are transforming into adult butterflies.
Each caterpillar’s stomach, intestines and other internal organs disintegrate into embryonic soup that will give rise to wings, legs, head, thorax and abdomen and new internal organs. This process uses so much energy that the green chrysalis loses nearly half its weight in the first three days.
There is a hint of butterfly formation when you look at a chrysalis; you can see a feint outline of the wings just under the outer skin of it. Also prominent are the gold spots the form a ring near the top of the chrysalis and on the body. It is not fully understood what the function of these spots are although the spots are thought to influence the normal development of the butterfly within.
This biological miracle takes place in eight to fourteen days when beautiful Monarch butterflies emerge to begin the life cycle of egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to adult all over again.