Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Black death? or just rainy weather....

After 5 cold and rainy days, the sun is peeking through.  A quick walkabout led me to discover this oddly colored monarch chrysalis hanging from a leaf of re-blooming lavender agastache.  Some Google research suggested that this chrysalis may be infected with Nuclear Polyhedrosis Virus ("Black Death").  Other info was more hopeful, that the coloration may be due to the recent soggy weather.

Either way, this is the very first monarch chrysalis I've seen in the gardens - ever.  I'm surprised I've not seen more because this season the gardens were positively swarming with monarch.  And tiger swallowtails.  And Eastern black swallowtails.  And skippers.  And.... you name it.  I've never seen so many butterflies in one place outside of an enclosure!

Let's keep our fingers crossed for this little one.  It's supposed to be sunny and warm for the next 6-7 days. I'll keep checking on this and let you know.

I found some other interesting sights during my walkabout.

Click on this bee pic for the rest of the story....


  1. Yes let's hope it is still alive in there. I hope you are around when it opens.

  2. I really hope it doesn't have a virus! We've been rainy, too, which I've enjoyed because it's helped all my transplanting. My agastache rebloomed, too, and has been covered with bees. :o)

  3. Follow up - the chrysalis eventually turned solid black and then rotted.


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