Monarch butterfly chrysalis cremaster

How does a chrysalis hold on to the silk pad so tightly?  This greatly magnified view tells the story. Tiny hooks at the tip of the cremaster (the black ‘stem’ on a Monarch chrysalis) tangle tightly into the silk pad.  The twisting dance that a chrysalis does when it is through pupating is to work these tiny hooks into as many of the silk loops as possible.

A Monarch chrysalis cremaster is so tiny that we can’t see the tiny hooks that hold the chrysalis to its silk button.  These are scanning electron microscope images, taken of some of our Monarch chrysalises, by Illustra Media.

Shady Oak Butterfly Farm shipped empty chrysalis shells to Lad Allen in California for their movie, ‘Metamorphosis’.

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