I was wrong

Ziltoid was definitely a fifth instar in the last pictures. And he was a fifth instar on a mission. While I tried a couple of times yesterday to redirect Ziltie to a leaf or twig, he insisted on sitting on the inside of the glass bowl, making a little pile of webbing. Last night he hung upside down from the little webbing patch he made and assumed the classic “J” position of a monarch caterpillar preparing to molt into a chyrsalis

I really wanted to see him shed his skin the final time, but at midnight I gave up and went to bed. Last year Waldo didn’t chrysalize until the following morning, so I had hopes that Ziltoid would follow suit.

The Prof stayed up until 4:30 or so, and finally gave up as well and came to bed. When I checked on Ziltoid at 7:30 this morning, I found that The Prof and I both had missed the big event.

This year’s pictures won’t be particularly spectacular. Since Ziltoid refused to pupate on a leave or twig, he’ll be stuck on the inside of the glass bowl for the duration of his metamorphosis. The bowl distorts most of the pictures I try to take, so I’m just going to have to wait for next year’s caterpillar to get some good pictures.

I was, however, able to locate Ziltoid’s final shed skin. Looks a bit like a mummified spider, until you realize the long leggy-looking things are actually antennae.

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