Newly Registered
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Jul 19, 2013 7:15 am

black swallowtail won't come out of chrysalis

My black swallowtail has been in the chrysalis for 4 weeks. He looks healthy and is alive. if I touch it, it wiggles. I'm concerned that something is wrong. I had it not too far from an AC vent, and we keep our house cool. Is that cool enough to cause it to go into diapause? Wouldn't think so, but I'm concerned. I moved his cage into the den and blocked the AC vent, so it is a little warmer. So far, hasn't emerged. Another caterpillar that went into chrysalis two weeks ago in same cage in same location emerged today. Should I put it outside. It is in the 90s and don't want to toss it into such a temperature change. Thanks!

User avatar
Posts: 28238
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 7:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: black swallowtail won't come out of chrysalis

If after 4 weeks, the chrysalis looks healthy, then it probably IS the temperature. Though it is still possible that something is wrong with it. For weddings and other events, they put the chrysalis in refrigerator to delay eclosure for several days to a week. 4 weeks seem rather long, but AC vents are supposed to blow out air that's 10°F colder than the thermostat setting. So.... And as you said, their wild fellow butterflies are emerging in the 90° outside temperature.

I would definitely move it away from the AC vent and put it where morning to mid-morning sun can reach the chrysalis. Blocking the vent was a good idea.

I replied to your other thread. I'm going to lock this one so you won't be getting butterfly and caterpillar related comments on both threads. But go ahead and create new topics if you have specific questions. :wink:
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

Return to “Wildlife - Gardening with Local Critters in Mind”