Monarch Journey

Bring a Fun Learning Experience to your Classroom

Pupa Dance

After days of munching milkweed and having gone through 5 “instars”, shedding its skin each time, the caterpillar goes on a “walkabout”, searching for a place for the next phase of its metamorphosis. Finding a spot, the caterpillar hangs upside down and spins a little silk button that it grasps with its hind-legs. It will curl itself up, looking like the letter “J” and hang that way for about 10-12 hours, while changes take place within its body. Then, when it is ready, it will start to pump like an accordion and a split appears near the head. Wiggling and squiggling, the skin slides up the body of the bright green pupa. A few last wiggles and the skin falls off while the pupa continues to wiggle. Slowly the pupa skin hardens and takes on the familiar shape of the chrysalis, studded with beautiful gold dots. After 30 minutes or so, the chrysalis is hard and the pupa within settles down for 10-14 days while its body transforms itself into the final form of the Monarch butterfly.