UPDATE: What Is That Butterfly Doing?

Queen Butterfly  1st instar

Queen Butterfly 1st instar

The next stage of butterfly growth has begun.  This is day 4 since I saw the female Queen Butterfly lay an egg on this leaf.  What we are seeing is the 1st instar stage of the new caterpillar.  As you can see, it is very tiny.  It is very hard to see without a magnifying glass.  But it will grow rapidly and then molt (shed the old skin) into the next larger instar.  The Queen Butterfly caterpillar will go through 5 instar stages before it goes into the pupal stage to complete the metamorphosis into a butterfly.  I am going to continue trying to follow this caterpillar on its journey from egg to butterfly. Will he or she make it? There are many perils for small animals in the wild.  Stay tuned!IMGP3309

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