Forming a J on the ground

We have a "caterpillar castle" that we have raised monarch butterflies in for the last few years. In previous years, all the caterpillars made their J's on the top of the castle.. this year, however, we are having a problem with them making the J's on the bottom, so they're not hanging. We have two like this right now, should i find a way to have them hang, or can they complete their entire process while "laying" down on the bottom??

Karen says:
Wow, I have never heard of this happening. My initial reaction is to try and have it so the chrysalis is hanging free. But it is best not to handle the chrysalis too much. Can you just turn the castle upside down or maybe on its side?

Anyone else have this experience??

Let me know what happens...

Comments for Forming a J on the ground

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Additional comment
by: davdub

I should have mentioned that I try and relocate the J's before the transition. Once they fix onto the bottom of a leaf and go into their 24hr trance, that's when I try and take care to relocate them.

Fallen chrysalis
by: Anonymous

I had one where the leaf it had been hanging on fell off due to age. I used some tweezers to slowly remove the web of silk. Next, I slightly wet a couple finger tips and rolled the silk into a string. Next, I use nylon screening and cut a round piece to fit over a 'netty pot' (used in hydroponics). I run the 'thread' through a hole in the screen and place a dab of silicon to secure the silk onto the screen. The silicon dries quickly.

I then place the screen with chrysalis over the cup and fasten with a rubber ban.

Even if they haven't fallen, I relocate all of the chrysalis into a reptile type enclosure to protect from spiders that might be in our house.

Side of jar!
by: Anonymous

I came on here looking for advice for a similar problem. I'm raising 5 painted ladies for my prek class and noticed this afternoon that one of them formed a chrysalis on the side of the plastic jar, so it's not hanging. I called the company for advice and they didn't know what to tell me but the other caterpiillars are poking it and trying to pull it off the side! What happened to yours? I'm curious to see what happens with this guy,or if they've pulled him off by morning.

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