• A butterfly cocoon, or a chrysalis, is a silky, protective casing spun by a caterpillar so it can undergo metamorphosis and transform into a butterfly. During this stage it does not eat or drink anything, and will emerge as a butterfly after anywhere from a few days to several months.


    In late autumn, when the daylight hours become shorter and the temperatures grow cooler, caterpillars begin spinning their chrysalis. This takes place during the pupal stage.


    The chrysalis serves as camouflage and keeps caterpillars safe and disguised from birds and other predators during the harsh winter. During this time the caterpillars do not eat or drink until they emerge from the chrysalis.

    How It's Made

    Chrysalises are made of silk spun from two glands inside the caterpillar. The caterpillar weaves the glue-like material into thread and then wraps itself inside. The thread hardens when the air touches it.


    Inside the chrysalis, the caterpillar begins to mature and transform into an adult. However, it is still very inactive.


    Butterflies will emerge from their chrysalis after anywhere from two weeks to an entire season. After they split it open, they inflate their wings with fluid from their abdomen. When their wings are dried and hardened, they take flight.

    Source: What is a Cocoon?

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