Caterpillars spin silk cocoons to protect themselves as they pupate. Inside the chrysalis, they complete their metamorphosis into butterflies. You may move a chrysalis to watch the butterfly emerge or because it is in a place where it would otherwise be destroyed. If the chrysalis does not have at least 3 inches of space underneath it, the butterfly may have problems emerging. Be careful when moving a chrysalis because it is very delicate.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Hot glue
Wait until the chrysalis has been at the location for at least 24 hours. This allows the chrysalis to harden, offering more protection to the insect as you move it.
Tie a loop of thread around the stem of the chryaslis, where it connects to the object from which it is suspended.
Break the chrysalis gently away from whatever it is attached to.
Tie the chrysalis to a branch in a terrarium or elsewhere in your garden, leaving at least 3 inches between the ground and the bottom of the chrysalis. If you leave the chrysalis outdoors, give it some cover, as butterflies are vulnerable when they emerge.
Wait until the chrysalis has been at the location for at least 24 hours.
Wet your finger with warm water and wet the silk mat that holds the chrysalis to the object.
Pull the chrysalis very gently from the object it was attached to. If necessary, dampen the silk mat again and use the tip of a sharp knife to pull the silk mat away.
Use a sharp pin to attach the silk mat to a more appropriate location, like a tender branch.
Use a small dab of hot glue to secure the chrysalis to an appropriate location if the silk mat became torn and there is not enough of it to pin. Allow the glue to cool before using it, as the temperature of hot glue can injure the chrysalis.
Tips and warnings
- If the chrysalis is hanging off a branch, break the branch from the plant and bring it inside.
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