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Day 20: Lazarus Update – Walking Contradiction

Day 20: Lazarus Update

A couple of days ago I wrote about our miracle caterpillar, which we named Lazarus, due to its ability to come back from the dead. I don’t have much on my mind that I want to write about today, so I thought I’d give you an update.


Lazarus continued eating and pooping, as caterpillars do. Yesterday, though, it reached the transition point in its lifecycle, where it stops being a caterpillar and becomes an adult butterfly. What the caterpillar will do at that point is stop eating, and because it will no longer be able to digest, it “purges” – it vomits up the contents of its digestive system. In the photo above you can see the circular stain with a dark center mass. Well, you can sort of see it; I keep the caterpillars in a collapsible laundry hamper with nylon mesh sides that allow you to see through somewhat, and that makes the image a little unclear.

Once they’ve purged, they begin to wander in search of a place to attach themselves. I created something for them to use, and most of the caterpillars end up pupating on it.

Caterpillar housing

You can see it in the center – it’s just a few sticks glued together. Again, due to the nylon mesh it’s difficult to see clearly, so here’s a photo I took last summer at the peak of pupa season:

Five pupas

So yeah, the caterpillars seem to like this arrangement. But not Lazarus! If you look closely at the top left of the photo of the caterpillar housing, you’ll notice something:

Lazarus wandered all over the enclosure, and then decided to attach to the top panel! It still hasn’t pupated, but I expect that to happen later today. I’ll update this post with an image of that when it happens.


Two hours later, and Lazarus has shed his caterpillar skin, and become a bona-fide pupa! Now the long wait until the beautiful butterfly emerges.

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