At some point they naturally start to gravitate towards the lid of the pot. You’ll notice they’ll be spending more time up the sides and near the lid. You’ll know at this point they are preparing for the next stage of their growth – to turn into a chrysalis. Soon one of them one attach its tail to the fibre mat that is stuck to the lid. This is there so they can easily grip on with their ‘tail’ and hang down.

The caterpillar will gradually lower its body and form a sort of ‘J’ shape. It’s at that point they will start to harden and turn into a chrysalis. It may take a day or so for this to happen. Usually they don’t all do this at exactly the same time, so you have plenty of opportunities to observe this process. You may notice on some of the high points down the length of the body, a line of gold highlights once the chrysalis has fully formed. You may need to catch them in the right light to see the gold effect against the drab background colour of the chrysalis.

Once the last of your caterpillars has formed a chrysalis, wait a day or so for it to harden off and then carefully prise the lid off to get at the mat. It’s lightly stuck on to the lid, so gently peel it off. Now, either take a safety pin, and pin the mat vertically on the side of the butterfly habitat, or use a paper-clip and shape it so it can hook into the mat and the side of the habitat. The video below shows the paper-clip method:

If a chrysalis gets knocked off, or comes loose, just place it on a piece of kitchen paper on the floor of the habitat. Placing a twig vertically nearby will help that butterfly climb higher when it’s ready to pump up its wings.

What happened next? Did I get a butterfly from each chrysalis? Click here to read the next page, when the chrysalis turned into a butterfly.Lee

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I’ve looked out the best sources for the Insect Lore Live Butterfly Garden for the UK and USA, and you can see these below:

For the UK: For the US:

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