Made In China?

Mantid egg case photographed by Jeff Zablow

I used to find these in that empty ‘lot’ around the corner from my house in Brooklyn, in the 1950’s. I took for granted that like I, this mantid egg case was all-American. An American mantis’ eggs. Sturdy, resilient, strong for having weathered that long, low in the ’20’s winter before.

Not too long ago, I learned Uh Uh! No American, but instead an egg case for Chinese Mantids. What a bummer! For our many friends from other countries, that means what a Disappointment.

The great number of alien, non-native animals and plants in the United States, tens of thousands of species or more, is a shocker when you spend time thinking about that.

China? Sri Lanka? Norway? France? Mexico? New Zealand? And the wingedbeauty Friend from Estonia . . . do you see as many alien plants and animals in your country as we do in the United States?

Jeff

What Material is in the White Bond that Connects the Chrysalis to the Plant Stem?

Monarch butterfly chrysalis photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park, PA

We hope that you can see the exquisite detail of this Monarch Butterfly chrysalis (pupa).

The craftsmanship of the covering that encases the chrysalis is of the highest caliber. This covering is made of a material named chitin. Chitin is a slightly altered sugar molecule that is especially strong and durable. Amazing! take a sugar molecule, alter it slightly, and it can be used to form a tough cover that can withstand the elements.

What is going on within the chrysalis covering?

What material makes up that white bond that connects the chrysalis to the plant stem that it’s joined to?

How much is known about how the changes taking place inside the chrysalis are controlled?

You’ve probably seen these when you were a child. How much more do you know about them now?

Jeffrey