It’s a GIRL!!!! again…

My last blog post was written after the emergence of the first of our 3 monarchs a couple days ago. Well, happily, #1 was released on Tuesday in the Victorian Garden and immediately took to the skies. We christened her “Freedom”, an apt name chosen from dozens of visitor suggestions.

Today, another monarch emerged, and this time I was very close by. I missed seeing the actual emergence by about 60 seconds – I saw it was about to happen and ran for my camera… when I returned she was perched on her spent chrysalis. She was quick! Nonetheless, I got some really cool photos of a “One Minute Old” monarch butterfly!

Note her size – not a lot larger than the chrysalis shell. And her wings are fairly wrinkled still from being all folded up… Now check out the following photo, taken about 1/2 hour later, and note her size in relation to the chrysalis!

The following photo shows her swollen abdomen, full of fluid that she then pushes into her wings…

How do we know she’s a girl? Well, the female monarch has wider/bolder striping than the male. And the male has a small circle/dot on each wing. So she’s definitely a girl.

Photos of the various stages of our  2010 monarchs can be found in our Facebook photo album.

We’ll be releasing her (and naming her) in the morning at 9am… spectators welcome!

T.

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