Viceroy Butterfly Hatching from Chrysalis

Yesterday, during one of our evening backyard games of kick-fly, we stumbled upon a monarch viceroy butterfly emerging from its chrysalis. Needless to say, this stopped us in our tracks. We all watched as this minute-old insect slowly dried its beautiful wings and prepared to take flight. My mother-in-law taught me everything I know about monarchs, so I was surprised to see the chrysalis attached to a willow tree rather than some milkweed (now I know this is because it’s a viceroy), but this little guy must have found plenty to eat. I like how you can still see some of the caterpillar’s pattern on the empty chrysalis – so cool! About an hour later, it was gone…

Update: Thanks to reader Kelly for telling me this is a viceroy, not a monarch!

By Chad Norman

Chad is a marketing and branding strategist, proven leader, speaker, founder, and author. As COO of Catch Talent, he leads day-to-day operations including finance, human resources, marketing, and communications, as well as directs all employer brand client deliverables. Prior to Catch, Chad was VP of Marketing & Communication at SPARC, he served on the senior leadership team and lead marketing and communication strategy across all products and services. At Blackbaud, the leading provider of nonprofit technology solutions, Chad managed digital marketing and online training teams. In 2016, Chad founded DisruptHR Charleston, a bi-annual gathering of HR professionals for a night of networking and Ignite talks. His book, 101 Social Media Tactics for Nonprofits: A Field Guide, was published by Wiley in February 2012. Chad has presented at dozens of industry events including SXSW, SHRM, DisruptHR, IHRIM, NTC, DMA, AFP, and BBCON and has lectured at Wake Forest University, Indiana University, University of Michigan, College of Charleston, and The Citadel.


  1. This image is beautiful, Chad! The butterfly is actually a viceroy (told from the monarch by the black line across the hindwing). Caterpillars of the species feast on willow, so your backyard provides good habitat. How lovely that you got to see the adult emerge.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *