Other than "to emerge", "to come out" or "to climb out", is there a specific verb that means "to emerge out of a chrysalis" or "to emerge out of a cocoon", like there is "to hatch" for "to emerge out of an egg"?

  • @Josh61 I've edited my answer to include usage from academic contexts, even though I'm not sure what that has to do with the question. Hopefully that helps you. Enjoy! Commented Jun 21, 2016 at 18:15
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    @Josh61 Fair enough, I didn't see that in the original question. Either way, Google Scholar returns a bunch of interesting results for eclosion! I don't think your answer was really wrong, so I don't think you should have deleted it, but that's up to you. Commented Jun 21, 2016 at 18:26
  • @KevinWorkman - don't worry, enjoy the upvotes:)
    – user66974
    Commented Jun 21, 2016 at 18:30
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    I'll echo Kevin, Josh, I liked your answer, it just happens to have been overtaken by one that matched my question more closely. I think that your answer still belongs here as the beauty of the English language is that it is multifaceted - there are at times more scientific words for things that have more accessible words for every day usage.
    – asoundmove
    Commented Jun 21, 2016 at 18:32
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    "Run for political office" seems to be a popular option these days. Commented Jun 21, 2016 at 20:13

2 Answers 2


You might be looking for eclose:

(of an insect) emerge as an adult from the pupa or as a larva from the egg.

From wikipedia, emphasis mine:

Like other types of pupae, the chrysalis stage in most butterflies is one in which there is little movement. However, some butterfly pupae are capable of moving the abdominal segments to produce sounds or to scare away potential predators. Within the chrysalis, growth and differentiation occur. The adult butterfly emerges (ecloses) from this and expands its wings by pumping haemolymph into the wing veins. Although this sudden and rapid change from pupa to imago is often called metamorphosis, metamorphosis is really the whole series of changes that an insect undergoes from egg to adult.

If you do a google image search of eclosion (the noun form of the verb eclose), you get a bunch of pictures of butterflies coming out of cocoons, so I think this is as close as you're going to get.


Edit: Josh61 has downvoted me for not providing usages from academic contexts (I was unaware that was a requirement on this site, my bad), so here are a couple examples:

Myers, Edith M. "The circadian control of eclosion." Chronobiology international 20.5 (2003): 775-794.

Eclosion is the stage in development when the adult insect emerges from the shell of its old cuticle.

Allada, Ravi, et al. "Stopping time: the genetics of fly and mouse circadian clocks." Annual review of neuroscience 24.1 (2001): 1091-1119.

Fruit flies proceed through a series of characteristic developmental stages, beginning with the embryonic through a series of three larval stages to a pupal stage from which adults emerge or eclose.

You can do a search on Google Scholar if you really want more.

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    Gah - beaten to it by an hour! As a professional entomologist I can confirm that this is the correct technical term.
    – arboviral
    Commented Jun 21, 2016 at 14:46
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    The question seems to be asking for a term other than "hatch" to describe the animal leaving the crysalis. This is the right answer IMHO Commented Jun 21, 2016 at 14:46
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    Yes, this seems to be a better answer, though the other one was convincing when it was the only answer available. It is strange to me as eclosion is the French term for Hatching.
    – asoundmove
    Commented Jun 21, 2016 at 15:11
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    @arboviral Every once in a while I daydream about what my life would be like if I had become an entomologist instead of a programmer. Sigh, the road untaken... Commented Jun 21, 2016 at 15:59
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    Academic context just gives a bit of weight, a "nice to have" from my point of view. It does turn it from a great response to a fantastic answer. Thank you.
    – asoundmove
    Commented Jun 21, 2016 at 18:26

I think that hatch can be used also for cocoons and chrysalises:

    1. (Zoology) to cause (the young of various animals, esp birds) to emerge from the egg or (of young birds, etc) to emerge from the egg
    1. (Zoology) to cause (eggs) to break and release the fully developed young or (of eggs) to break and release the young animal within

How to Hatch a Butterfly Cocoon :

  • Hatching and releasing a butterfly from its cocoon is a fun and educational process for kids (and adults) to observe.

  • Creating a safe environment for a cocoon to hatch into a butterfly is very easy. Simply tape a string across a jar full of grass or bucket and hang the cocoon to the string using a separate piece of tape via the string-like substance at the top of the cocoon.

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    While I appreciate that some people use hatch in this case, it feels wrong to me - and most of the instances I see describe it as "emerge" or "come out" from the crysalis or cocoon, not as hatch. All the definitions I saw of hatch mention eggs as the initial state and young as the after state. The coming out of a crysalis or cocoon creates an adult, not a young. Hence my question.
    – asoundmove
    Commented Jun 21, 2016 at 10:14
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    The link "how to hatch a butterfly cocoon" does not seem to me a very authoritative source. But I appreciate that the English language is defined by usage.
    – asoundmove
    Commented Jun 21, 2016 at 10:25
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    @asoundmove - it looks like it is quite common though, here it is used in a university context . madsci.org/posts/archives/1999-11/942901976.Zo.r.html
    – user66974
    Commented Jun 21, 2016 at 10:27
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    See also here: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12089477
    – user66974
    Commented Jun 21, 2016 at 10:29

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