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Chrysalis of Pontia beckerii (Becker's White)

 
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
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Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 10:19 pm    Post subject: Chrysalis of Pontia beckerii (Becker's White) Reply with quote

Here's something you don't see very often -- a wild chrysalis of a Becker's White butterfly (Pontia beckerii).



I have raised these from eggs, but this is the first one I have seen in the wild. My friend Dave Nunnallee, who is literally writing the book on immatures of Washington butterflies and identified this specimen for me, says that he has never seen one wild. But there it was, stuck in the top of a weed right next to the nature trail, where it could be passed by and over-looked by literally hundreds of people on a busy day. Laughing

So this is a treat, folks -- we got lucky! Very Happy

--Rik

Technical: Canon SD700 IS, auto-everything, The jpeg reports f/2.8 at 1/320.
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MacroLuv



Joined: 28 Aug 2006
Posts: 1964
Location: Croatia

PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice Rik. Very Happy
At first I thought that photograph was made with help of some kind of bifocal filter. Cool
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rjlittlefield
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 12:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MacroLuv wrote:
At first I thought that photograph was made with help of some kind of bifocal filter.

An interesting thought!

But no, just a Photoshop layer effect, combining two images to present chrysalis and context without running afoul of the "Macro and Close-up (only)" guidelines. Wink

--Rik
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Ken Ramos



Joined: 27 Jul 2006
Posts: 6909
Location: lat=35.4005&lon=-81.9841

PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 2:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Isn't is neat when you find something like this Rik? Surprised Makes me think about how much I have probably passed by and not noticed during my hikes in the Blue Ridge, of which I will be doing a great deal of next week being on holiday. Oh Boy! Dancing This post will remind me to keep a sharp eye out for things. Very Happy
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beetleman



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 2:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent find Rik. You have a nack for finding the unusual and rare. Lets hope it stays unnoticed to all the other people who do not know how special it is.
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rjlittlefield
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ken Ramos wrote:
Isn't is neat when you find something like this Rik? Surprised Makes me think about how much I have probably passed by and not noticed during my hikes in the Blue Ridge, of which I will be doing a great deal of next week being on holiday. Oh Boy! Dancing This post will remind me to keep a sharp eye out for things. Very Happy

Yeah, I get a kick out of finding those few things that I can actually recognize!

Hiking the Blue Ridge, now that sounds like fun. I gotta get down to your neck of the woods someday. Very Happy

beetleman wrote:
Lets hope it stays unnoticed to all the other people who do not know how special it is.

Yep. If the wind doesn't blow too hard, and the people are cooperative, I have hopes of going back in another week or so and finding an empty shell. Or maybe an intact shell with a round hole in it -- there's a whole lot of butterfly chrysalids that end up producing parasitic wasps. You just never know with these things! Think

--Rik
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rjlittlefield
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 12:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two days later, the chrysalis is still there and has much the same appearance. It was quite active today, thrashing from side to side when I disturbed its support weed. Usually lepidoptera pupae are most active when freshly formed, then go through a quiet phase while the tissues rework themselves to become the adult. They become active again before eclosion, but by then in butterflies the wing patterns are usually visible through the shell, which they are not yet in this one. This species is known to be double-brooded in this area, so I suppose it will continue development straight through to being an adult (or a parasitoid!).

Perhaps another week, if all goes well?

--Rik
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Ken Ramos



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 4:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would be interesting to see how all this develops. To bad you could not put a "live web cam" on it to watch and record all the stages. Wouldn't that be neat! Surprised
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However, while there is grace where in all that I might live, while there is still breath in my being, while I may or may not accomplish anything more in life than to be living, I shall reflect upon the past, applying it to the present, for to possibly perceive to a near certainty, the outcome of the future.

Ken 2014
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twebster
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is absolutely cool, Rik! I've only seen a very few "wild" chrysalis myself. Good eyes! Smile
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rjlittlefield
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 12:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I checked again yesterday, and this chrysalis had successfully completed its development, the butterfly had emerged, and nothing was left but an empty shell. (Yippee! Very Happy )

Here's all that was left.



I also posted out a picture of a representative adult -- almost certainly not the one that came from this chrysalis, of course, but at least the same species, shot at the appropriate time and place.

--Rik
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MacroLuv



Joined: 28 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2007 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


Rik, pity you didn't catch the moment of emerging.
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P.S.
Noticing of my "a" and "the" and other grammar
errors are welcome. Very Happy
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