Now completely free from her nymphal exuvium (shell), Betsy will hang around for a while as her wings continue to unfurl (see the still-curled tips here), and her wings and entire exoskeleton slowly harden. At this stage, she is a teneral imago (a new soft and lightly-colored adult), and, without a hard exoskeleton and without working wings, she is basically helpless against predators.
In total, the ecdysis (molting) took 34–35 minutes. At this point—36 minutes elapsed—it was 1 hour and 15 minutes after sunset. In the wild, Betsy would be hanging onto a tree branch in the dark, hopefully hiding beneath some leafy cover. (As in my previous posts, I think darkness, and specifically cover from moonlight, is one of the cues that tells the nymph to stop climbing and begin ecdysis.) I was glad that this sheltered environment guaranteed her safety for her dangerous first night as an adult.
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