What Is a Black Swallowtail Chrysalis?


Quick Answer

A black swallowtail chrysalis is the hardened shell the black swallowtail caterpillar builds around itself during the pupal life stage. The caterpillar stays in the chrysalis for the entire pupal stage, which usually lasts between nine and 10 days; the stage lasts longer during the winter months.

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Full Answer

While in the chrysalis, the black swallowtail caterpillar experiences intense metabolic activity as it transforms into a butterfly. The chrysalis itself is hard-shelled and is either brown or green in color, depending on the surface to which it is attached. This variability helps protect the black swallowtail from predators during its vulnerable life stage transformation. The black swallowtail is common across North America and is the state butterfly of Oklahoma.

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