Wednesday, 25 April 2012

I Want to Break Free: The Amazing Moment a Butterfly Bursts from its Chrysalis

These amazing pictures document the birth of a butterfly as it tries to break free of its chrysalis.

The breathtaking images were taken by snapper Jimmy Hoffman who took the shots in Girona, Spain.

Wildlife enthusiast Jimmy, who is a professional artist, raised the Charaxes jasius or Foxy Emperor from a caterpillar and waited until they formed a chrysalis.

This Charaxes jasius or Foxy Emperor was raised from a caterpillar and the photographer waited until it formed a chrysalis before photographing itThis Charaxes jasius or Foxy Emperor was raised from a caterpillar and the photographer waited until it formed a chrysalis before photographing it

When the moment came for the stunning butterfly to emerge he was ready to take this incredible sequence.

He said: 'It's always a special and wonderful moment to see a butterfly emerging from its pupa.

'Especially when you have raised it yourself. It's something you very rarely witness in nature and I was very lucky to be able to take a sequence of pictures of the whole process.'

The butterfly has a two-inch wing span and is found across Africa and the Mediterranean.

The caterpillar's host is generally the strawberry tree.

article-2133541-12B8036F000005DC-952_634x333The first stage: When the caterpillar is fully grown, it makes a button of silk which it uses to fasten its body to a leaf or a twig. The caterpillar's skin comes off and under this old skin is a hard skin called a chrysalis

The second stageThe pupa seam tears after 12 hours. It is a metallic gold-coloration in many butterfliesThe second stage: The pupa seam tears after 12 hours. It is a metallic gold-coloration in many butterflies

article-2133541-12B802E1000005DC-888_634x372The third stage: The butterfly slowly begins to emerge - but not quite - after 23-and-a-half hours in the chrysalis

The fourth stage The beautiful butterfly is almost free and is all but out of its shell. It has a wing span of two inchesThe fourth stage: The beautiful butterfly is almost free and is all but out of its shell. It has a wing span of two inches

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