I finally got to watch a caterpillar shed it’s skin and form a chrysalis today, and of course, I got pictures too. The caterpillar will hang upside down for a day or so before it changes. The book I read said that once it’s filaments (antennae) wither, it will start shedding it’s skin in about a half hour. I noticed that one of them had withered filaments so I hung around to watch the change. The caterpillar’s outer skin splits at the bottom (it’s head) and it wiggles and moves around and pushes the skin up towards the top, where it will fall off. This stage is called “pupa”. After a few hours, this new skin hardens and is then called the chrysalis. The whole skin shedding process took 5 or 6 minutes. It will hang like this for 10-14 days, after which, a butterfly will emerge.
About 5 minutes before it started changing.
This pic and the next one were taken 2 hours later.