Chrysalis question

bugmankeith

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
2,731
Has any scientist ever drawn a visual guide as to the changes that occur inside a chrysalis that make a caterpillar look like a butterfly?

One time halfway through development I had a chrysalis drop by accident and crack open, and inside was smelly brown goo, nothing solid. How does liquid become a solid insect? Or is the "shell" outside the actual animal, and inside it is the guts? And when a butterfly emerges, it's no different than and insect shedding it's exoskeleton and emerges looking different? The chrysalis "sheds" and out pops a new looking body, a butterfly.
 
Last edited:

Vfox

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 1, 2007
Messages
530
Ya know...I've actually wondered about this as well. Sorry I'm not much use on the subject. I would expect someone on here would have the answer.
 

Mat

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
May 3, 2005
Messages
141
The cells inside need to do a lot of rearrangement, so tissue structures are broken down and rearranged, hence most of the inside is "goo" in the early stages. As the new structures are laid down, you find less "goo".
 

bugmankeith

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
2,731
So, does the caterpillar technically "die" and is "reborn" again from new cells.

Cells only form like that in eggs usually so that's what it reminded me of. Is the pupa the equivalent of a moving egg shell, and inside is like the yolk?

Almost like a life after death scenario.
 

ZephAmp

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 8, 2008
Messages
530
If you look carefully at a caterpillar and then at the corresponding adult with a very scrutinizing lens you'll see a lot of similarities. Some species of Lepidoptera even have little stubs on their abdomens from where the prolegs of the caterpillar were. It's a big change but not as big as "dying" and "coming back to life." Basically things get shifted around, broken down, rearranged, and then put back together, but some really vital things, like the digestive organs and gangliae, remain pretty much in the same area.
 

Galapoheros

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 4, 2005
Messages
8,984
It is pretty amazing! btw, does anybody remember seeing a TV show many years ago showing a chrysalis split in two and connected with a thin tube of some sort, I'm having some kind of 80's flashback while watching bug shows.
 
Top