The Cloudless caterpillar attaches itself to stationary object before making its unique chrysalis. To secure its body the caterpillar attaches its hind legs to a branch and then wraps a silk strand around its waist. After patient waiting, its skin will begin to split. Underneath is a soft chrysalis that looks like a leaf!
The Cloudless Sulphur's chrysalis blends in with the surrounding leaves of its host plant. The chrysalis's green color and arched shape helps to further disguise the developing butterfly. On the chrysalis are white or green lines that look like the veins of a leaf. The chrysalis is pointed on both ends to look like the stem of a leaf.
Cloudless Sulphur chrysalises can be green, yellow, pink, and I have even found a purple chrysalis. Green chrysalises are best disguised when around green leaves. The yellow chrysalises are camouflaged among yellow flowers of the Cassia trees. In fall as leaves change color and die, Cloudless Sulphurs can make a purple or pink colored chrysalis that is well disguised. The chrysalises will have a better chance of survival through blending in with their surrounding.
The Cloudless Sulphur chrysalis becomes thinner as the butterfly's emergence draws near. Its yellow wings become visible through the transparent chrysalis. As the sun heats up the chrysalis the butterfly gains energy. Using all of its strength it pushes the chrysalis open. First, its head slowly slides out. Then its wings, and lastly its abdomen follows. Its wings expand and harden as it pumps fluid from its abdomen into the veins of its wings. Its wings will dry and be ready for flight in a couple of hours.
The Cloudless Sulphur butterfly can be found from southern United States, through Central America, and to the northern part of Argentina. To survive, the Cloudless Sulpur butterfly has the shape similar to that of a leaves. This camouflage is so detailed that even the veins on the butterfly's wings duplicates that of the veins on leaves. The Cloudless Sulphur's yellow color blends in with yellow flowers and dying leaves of the plants on which it feeds. Mimicking leaves is used by many different insects to provide protection from predators.
To see how the Cloudless Sulphur caterpillar uses camouflage click on the following link. http://elizabethssecretgarden.blogspot.com/2009/12/cloudless-sulphur-caterpillar.html
My Costa Rica tour is in 8 days!