Chrysalis of Pontia beckerii (Becker's White)

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rjlittlefield
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Chrysalis of Pontia beckerii (Becker's White)

Post by rjlittlefield »

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

Image

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. :lol:

So this is a treat, folks -- we got lucky! :D

--Rik

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

MacroLuv
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Post by MacroLuv »

Very nice Rik. :D
At first I thought that photograph was made with help of some kind of bifocal filter. 8)
The meaning of beauty is in sharing with others.

P.S.
Noticing of my "a" and "the" and other grammar
errors are welcome. :D

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

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

Ken Ramos
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Post by Ken Ramos »

Isn't is neat when you find something like this Rik? :o 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! \:D/ This post will remind me to keep a sharp eye out for things. :D

beetleman
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Post by beetleman »

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.
Take Nothing but Pictures--Leave Nothing but Footprints.
Doug Breda

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

Ken Ramos wrote:Isn't is neat when you find something like this Rik? :o 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! \:D/ This post will remind me to keep a sharp eye out for things. :D
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. :D
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! :-k

--Rik

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Post by rjlittlefield »

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

Ken Ramos
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Post by Ken Ramos »

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! :o

twebster
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Post by twebster »

This is absolutely cool, Rik! I've only seen a very few "wild" chrysalis myself. Good eyes! :)
Tom Webster

Phoenix "The Valley of the Sun", Arizona, USA

The worst day photographing dragonflies is better than the best day working! :)

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Post by rjlittlefield »

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! :D )

Here's all that was left.

Image

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

MacroLuv
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Post by MacroLuv »

:smt023
Rik, pity you didn't catch the moment of emerging.
The meaning of beauty is in sharing with others.

P.S.
Noticing of my "a" and "the" and other grammar
errors are welcome. :D

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