Subject:  Yellow Swallowtail Chrysalizing
Geographic location of the bug:  West Los Angeles
Date: 08/10/2021
Time: 11:35 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi Bugman,
I decided to protect a few yellow swallowtail caterpillars from the wasps that patrol my yard, so I put them in a small tank. All four of them have now chrysalized.
By the way, are chrysalizing and chrysalized real words?
How you want your letter signed:  Jeff Bremer

Anise Swallowtail Caterpillar and Chrysalides

Hey Jeff,
You are the one who brought up questions about etymology, the study of words, as well as entomology, the study of insects.   Before we answer your question, we want to address some other etymology.  Let’s start with “Yellow Swallowtails” because these look like early stages of Anise Swallowtails and you have called Anise Swallowtails by the name Yellow Swallowtails in prior submissions.   According to iNaturalist:  “
Papilio zelicaon, the anise swallowtail, is a common swallowtail butterfly of western North America. Both the upper and lower sides of its wings are black, but the upper wing has a broad yellow stripe across it, giving the butterfly an overall yellow appearance. There are striking blue spots on the rear edge of the rear wing, and the characteristic tails of the swallowtails. Its wingspan is 52–80 mm (2.04-3.15 inches). … There is a somewhat darker subspecies, P. z. nitra, which is rare throughout the range, though somewhat more often found at lower elevations.”  Etymology item #2 on our end is that we prefer the little used word chrysalides as the plural form of chrysalis.

Now regarding your questions:  Chrysalizing is the name of a new age type of website.  According to Merriam-Webster, dictionary listings near chrysalis are:  “Chrysal, chrysalid, chrysalides, chrysalis, chrysalises, chrysaloid, Chrysamine” and chrysalizing and chrysalized are noticeably absent, so we have to say that as words, they do not currently exist in the English language, however, we understand perfectly what you would imply should you use those words in a sentence.

Thank you so much for allowing us to indulge in a touch of fun while responding to you.

P.S.  We have to tag you with the Bug Humanitarian Award for saving these chrysalides from predation by Wasps.

Thanks for the clarification Daniel. I’ve often wondered of Yellow Swallowtail and Anise Swallowtail are two names for the same butterfly. Maybe I should have known better as the females are attracted to my yard by fennel plants.
So, what is the term you use to describe what I mean by chrysalizing?
Since there is no verb that can be constructed from the root chrysalis, you can use an appropriate verb and the noun, as in “forming a chrysalis”.  There might  be another verb.  We frequently use “metamorphosing” to refer to transformation at any stage of the process except hatching from the egg.
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Location: West Los Angeles, California

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