Sometimes the larva will pupate on an old stem of milkweed. Perhaps you want to move the chrysalis out of the lid of your habitat so that children can observe the chrysalis easily. Here is how I do it!
Note: Don’t ever pull down on the chrysalis itself. You could break off the cremaster.
Begin to tease the edge of the silk pad away from the lid with a toothpick.
Gently grip the edge of the silk pad with your fingers.
This is how the chrysalis looks when it is detached. The attachment of the cremaster to the silk is very strong.
Wrap the silk pad around a wood stick (double it over the top and hold with your fingers until the next step).
Put a piece of tape on one side of the silk where it wraps around the stick.
Fold the tape over the other side, making sure not to cover the cremaster and ensuring that all the sticky tape is attached to the other side of the tape. If tape were still sticky, a butterfly could theoretically get a foot stuck!
Use a hot glue gun to glue the wood stick to an upside down cup. The cup needs to be at least 4 inches tall so that the butterfly’s wings won’t touch the ground when it comes out. (The pictured juice cup was a little too short and so I have added this recommendation!) I use a glass juice cup because it has some weight–it won’t tip over.
The finished chrysalis setup. I will now put this back in the habitat with a paper towel underneath. The paper towel will catch the fluid that comes out when the butterfly emerges.
Many sites mention adding a netting or other material that the butterfly can climb. Theoretically a butterfly could fall off the chrysalis and not be able to get back up the sides of a slick container. I haven’t ever had this happen, but I’m adding this info to be complete.