We have been raising monarch butterflies for a few years now. Initially we did it as a way to bring science and nature into a more accessible setting for our daughters. It has evolved to become an annual exercise in addition to our hope that we can have an impact on the population.
We have been lucky enough to find other moths and butterflies like the eastern black swallowtail. The eastern black swallowtail is a beautiful butterfly that frequents our region from mid-summer to early fall. As with most butterflies, they begin when the female butterflies laying eggs on certain plants. In this case, they prefer parsley and other plants as opposed to the milkweed which monarchs enjoy.
My daughter found an egg a number of months ago. Once it hatched, she fed it everyday a healthy diet of parsley. It entered the chrysalis phase just over 2 weeks ago. The chrysalis changed colour over the last day and we knew by the transperency that today was the day.
Here is a video of the butterfly emerging. I was disappointed she turned the other way but it is still amazing to think they know exactly what to do.
A few hours later my daughter confirmed it is a female and we released her outside. Here she is being a little bit lazy but probably working on attracting a male.