Swaying Gulf Fritillary Cocoon
Location: Orlando, Florida
May 7, 2012 3:04 pm
Hi Bugman. My husband and I have several gulf frit cocoons which have recently formed. We noticed they are swaying from side to side occasionally and very slowly. One just emerged and it was severely malformed so we conducted a mercy killing. It was very disappointing for us since we’ve been waiting to have successful frits after recently eradicating the melt virus from our vines. Is the swaying movement normal?
Though the chrysalis is considered to be a dormant stage of metamorphosis, many pupae are quite active, wriggling and moving about. We don’t think the swaying you describe is abnormal. We aren’t certain why a recently emerged Gulf Fritillary was malformed, however, we just posted a letter regarding deformed Anise Swallowtails. We wonder perhaps if being handled by humans might be damaging the chrysalides.
Thank you, Daniel. We have had three lovely butterflies emerge since the first tragedy. We are always careful not to touch cocoons for fear of harming them. Looking forward to the final butterfly emerging any day now.
Thanks for the update Elizabeth.