The contours of the pupa describe structures of the emerging butterfly. The proboscis runs up the dorsal center, flanked by the leg pairs. The antennae lie alongside the legs, the wings wrap beyond these. The butterfly's abdomen lies topmost, closest to the cremaster attachment.
When the casing splits, the butterfly has to work hard to get out. It is usually necessary for survival in the natural realm that individual effort complete a process, as seen in caterpillar development to this point. The cuticle (casing) of the pupa opens in a precisely defined manner. The sequence starts just behind the head and continues separating upward on the back of the pupa, between the wing attachments. Perpendicular splits relieve the stricture around the sides and a forward leg or antenna is freed. With the head released, and by griping with the freed legs, the butterfly pulls itself out. The casing splits more, releasing its captive.
Efficiently packaged, the butterfly emerges compacted tightly together. The wings are crumpled like crepe paper, although rather thicker and heavier. The butterfly expands its wings by an internal fluid mechanism. The greenish body fluid is forced between the top and bottom layers of each wing. This hydraulic system is allowed to dry out after this wing expansion is completed.
The Monarch butterfly just brought forth can be seen flexing its brilliant wings in the sun. So, an interesting life sequence has taken place these few short weeks of summer:
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