How do they do it? Transformation to a Butterfly

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A parent in my wife’s kindergarten class (she is a teacher) brought in several chrysalides (plural of chrysalis) she found in her garden. The students watched the emergence of this female Indian fritillary (Argynnis hyperbius). I arrived late but was able to see it first few minutes as a butterfly. The underside has a leopard-like print and the upper side of the wings, below, completely different.

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It almost looks like two different butterflies. The species is also different in that it has a huge range, from India to Japan and the males and females have different coloring. Thinking about it, what an amazing process to go from a caterpillar to a butterfly! That is such a radical change of shape and lifestyle.

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