Monarch chrysalisAll of our Monarchs are in their chrysalis stage, busily rearranging their DNA into their adult form – the butterfly. We expect them to begin emerging in the early part of next week.

A great question we hear a lot is: “What’s the difference between a chrysalis and a cocoon?” We’re so glad you asked!

One way they are different is that the chrysalis is the butterfly’s body and the cocoon is a protective case around the moth’s body. All butterflies become chrysalises and all moths make cocoons.

The final molt (skin shed) of the monarch larva results in the chrysalis. “So the chrysalis is not so much something that they make as it is something that they turn into,” says Dr. Karen Oberhauser, of Journey North. The green coloring of the monarch pupa, or chrysalis, is the actual skin of the monarch during this stage.

A caterpillar making a cocoon will weave silk around itself. Its body is inside the cocoon. It will become a moth.

After our Monarchs emerge as butterflies, we’ll release them in the Nancy Bouchard Laffely Children’s Garden, right outside the Youth Services Area. It’s hard to predict exactly when they’ll be ready to fly away.  We’ll do our best to announce release times on our Facebook page a few hours ahead. Please join us!