Do pupae have to hang?

This topic contains 23 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by  emmakate 6 years, 7 months ago.

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  • #13239

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Hi all

    Someone was asking if pupae have to be hanging for the butterflies to eclose (emerge) successfully. Chip Taylor, who knows more than anyone has ever forgotten about Monarchs, says this:

    We place all pupae horizontally on paper towels over which we place 8 0z plastic cups. The cups have fiberglass screening on the inside. The butterflies pull themselves from the pupal cuticle and crawl up the screen to dry the wings. These separate emergence chambers minimize cross contamination of O.e. and allow us to check each butterfly separately before using it in our breeding program.

Viewing 23 replies - 1 through 23 (of 23 total)
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  • #32250

    emmakate
    Participant

    Well my chrys that was dented from the door frame didn’t make it. It probably would have if I’d found it earlier, but it had fallen down from wall and it’s wings had already dried crumpled when I found it 🙁 So I am unsure if the dent DID damage it or not, didn’t get the chance to find out for sure 🙁 Oh well, you win some, you lose some 🙂

    #32221

    Anna
    Participant

    I have had no problems by  lining a small plastic container with handy towel and making sure it overlaps at the top. (sellotape in a couple of places to hold it there) The pupae lie on the bottom, and when the butterfly starts to come out of the chrysalis it uses its legs to scramble up the side until its high enough to pump out its wings etc.

    I have done this with lots of Monarchs, Admirals, Cinnabar moths, and Magpie moths….and they have happily fluttered off once they have finished.

    The handy towel gives them a good surface to grip on to, but must be high enough so they can stretch out fully, or their wings will be deformed.

    #32218

    emmakate
    Participant

    I have one ready to hatch that is on the side of a door frame, at about a 45 degree angle, with a wedge shaped dent in it from the corner of the frame… From what I’ve read here it could go either way – am I right? It has plenty of room to hang, but the ‘crease’ is vertical and runs halfway down the back of the chrysalis, so I am HOPING it has still been able to develop properly… Has anyone had this happen? Results? 🙂

    #32212

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    …need to hang vertically so that when they eclose, gravity can assist in their wings forming properly. This also helps with keeping excess fluid (formed during metamorphosis) near the bottom of chrysalis to be expelled when emerging

    … gravity helps the wings to unfold as they are so large.

    That’s quite right.

    It is fine for the pupa to be lying down so long as as it emerges it can immediately climb up something (6-7 cm) and be able to expand its wings.

    We all agree!

    #32210

    BlueSkyBee
    Participant

    I was just reading a wee book on Monarchs, and their take on the hanging thing was so that gravity helps the wings to unfold as they are so large.

    #32208

    Errol
    Participant

    I had an Admiral chrysalis that I needed to relocate, as it would have got damaged where it was. I managed to get it re-attached in a better location with glue, but it was a tricky job and it ended up hanging at about a 45 degree angle. However the butterfly came out perfectly normal and flew off when I let it go.

    #32207

    carols
    Participant

    Yes, emmakate, when the butterfly emerges from the chrysalis it does need somewhere to hang to dry its wings. Though from experience they don’t necessarily need to be hanging upside down, they can be clinging to the side of a suitable container, provided they have enough room to extend their wings.

    A chrysalis will also eclose quite successfully when it is lying down, so long as the butterfly has somewhere to crawl up as soon as it hatches.

    #32206

    emmakate
    Participant

    Monarchs and other need to hang vertically so that when they enclose, gravity can assist in their wings forming properly. This also helps with keeping excess fluid (formed during metamorphosis) near the bottom of chrysalis to be expelled when emerging 🙂 x.Emma 

    #32204

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Yes, they are designed to hang… but I guess not hanging them is a bit like mothers having Caesarians.

    #32203

    notsotypicalblonde
    Participant

    I guess there must be some reason why it is preferable for them to hang..otherwise why would they naturally hang?

    jmho 🙂

    #32196

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Sorry, Caryl, just re-read the first post in this topic – I am rushing, doing too much… The answer is no, but you could always make your own set up using the little plastic containers that takeaways sell soya sauce, tomato sauce etc in. Not the sachets, haha, but the little plastic ones with snap-on, tight-fitting lids (for eggs) or larger ones (for butterflies).

    Remember, however, that Oe is out there in the wild, so unless you’re trying to run an absolutely hygienic, sterilised facility (i.e. un-natural) there’s really no point. In North America butterfly farmers agree that they won’t sell infected stock to other farmers, hence the need for things to be checked and sterile.

    #32195

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Monarch emergence chambers? Maybe you’re thinking about our caterpillar castles, Caryl?

    Caterpillar Castles

    If not, please describe what it is you’re looking for…

    #32193

    Caryl
    Participant

    Jacqui, is it possible to buy any monarch emergence chambers in NZ?

    Thanks for everything you do for this site, Caryl

    #20133

    Swansong
    Participant

    Wow, thanks for the heads up. I shall get my lil magnifying glass and have a squizz.

    Swansong

    #20129

    Anonymous

    Hi Swansong,

    Yes they are the front pair of legs. Monarchs are hard to notice, probably why most people don’t. However, they are more obvisous on Admirals. In NZ Blues, Coppers, Whites & Ringlets all use 6 legs.

    Robert.

    #20106

    Swansong
    Participant

    I wasnt aware Norm. When I see a newly hatched butterfly I can see 2 little stumps that they move sideways/up and down, just below the head area on either side. Is that the legs you are talking about?

    Cheers
    Swansong

    #20105

    NormTwigge
    Participant

    For those who are not aware, all butterflies have 6 legs, which is one of the classifications for an insect.
    The Nymphalidae family of butterflies, sometimes referred to as ‘brush footed’ butterflies, have reduced front legs about half normal size which have lost all function and are tucked up against the thorax. The Monarch and Admirals belong to this family, and walk on 4 legs.
    Norm.

    #20101

    Swansong
    Participant

    Hi Jacqui,
    Yes I agree that there are times that cannot be, as I said above ….

    ” I think where possible” .

    We were looking at a wee blue butterfly a couple of days ago and noticed he had 6 legs, which we were intriged with, knowing the monarch only has four. He had no probs walking on our stucco. (vertical).

    Swansong

    #20100

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    I’m behind you there, Swansong – but there are times when that cannot be. If you know which side the pupae open, too, the odds are much better if you put it so that the butterfly is turned the right way, legs nearest what it needs to climb – in this case, the food umbrella.

    At Conference, I think it was George Gibbs who told us that most of NZ’s butterflies cannot walk along a surface, only climb, and must have enough space so that their wings can expand downwards. Their front legs have been adapted so that although they technically still have six legs, they cannot use them for walking distances as some butterflies can.

    #20097

    Swansong
    Participant

    Well Im gonna get all “natural” on you here. I think where possible its best to let them hang how they were created to be. Like we wernt born to stand on our heads all day, or lie down all day.

    Cheers Swansong

    #20041

    Anonymous

    Just before the conference I had 3 fallen pupae with no cremaster due to emerge in the next day or 2 – what to do???

    I looked up an American site – probably was Monarch Watch, but can’t be sure – and followed their instructions – I figured there was nothing to lose at this stage.

    I placed an old hand towel on a tray, and put a net food umbrella so that the edge of it was as close to the pupae as possible. Also, I picked a tray with a sloping lip and placed the pupae on this slope so that they were not entirely horizontal.

    When I came home from the conference I found 2 perfect butterflies hanging from the top of the food umbrella. Sadly the third one hadn’t been able to make the climb 🙁

    I do know that 1 of the 3 pupae had fallen very early in the process, and the other 2 much later. However, because I was away I have no idea which butterfly came from which pupa – but I am wondering if the one that didn’t make it was the early fall and if this made a difference.

    Anyway, my advice (for what it’s worth) is to rehang a pupa wherever possible, but that this method is worth a try on the odd occasion when it is impossible to rehang.

    #18555

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Hi all

    This was the picture I was looking for as an example of what some people do – this is from MonarchWatch in the USA. I think they describe why they uses these containers in the lab situation.

    http://www.monarchwatch.org/temp/emergence_chamber.jpg

    Posts about it here:
    http://www.monarchwatch.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=470&p=2400&hilit=gold%2C+chrysalis#p2400

    #18526

    carlwatson
    Participant

    My five cent’s worth, we have found by trial and error, that they do have to hang, if emerging on a flat surface they are doomed, though I can see that the special circumstances of placing a special cup over each, to allow them to crawl up, may well save them. Not very practical when dozens are involved though. Our solution, clipped by a modified wooden clothes peg,onto an old clothes airer, if not enough “hair” to clip to, a small dab of stringy glue from a hot melt gun, carefully applied, gives a “string” to clip onto. We have “saved” hundreds blown off in strong winds, that way. Carl Watson

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