Fiery Skipper Pupation

I’ve been raising Fiery Skippers from eggs I collected on the lawn. Since they eat grass they’re easy to feed and keep. I managed to catch one turning into the pupal stage, despite its best efforts to wait until I wasn’t looking. The cup and bad lighting got in the way of the pictures, which is too bad, but the sequence of events is clear enough.

You can just barely see the top of it starting to split, near the head.

It would raise and lower its tail. I suppose that is how it wiggles loose.

The face split open and the pupa emerged. It wiggled until the caterpillar face and skin had slid down to the end of it.

Once it had the skin most of the way off, it began to gyrate like it had a hula hoop on it, to shed the skin the rest of the way.

When it first wiggles free, it’s still very long, and looks a lot like a green version of the caterpillar. The head can clearly be seen, but the wings cannot. Once it’s done shedding, it starts to wiggle and scrunch itself up, turning into a much fatter butterfly pupa.

Below is a picture of the new pupa side by side with one that had undergone metamorphosis the day before. The new pupa is much greener, and is still trying to scrunch itself into shape.

The older pupa. You can clearly see the eyes, and can barely make out the wings. The pupae seem very clear, the segmented abdomen is easy to see even now. Interestingly enough, both pupae have little fuzzy hairs all over.

This is the newer pupa. It kind of looks like a cartoon frog. There are little markings over its eyes that make it look like its eyes are shut – from my experience with moths, I suspect the eyes haven’t even developed yet. You can sort of make out the lines where the wings are.

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