Well, sad news. After putting each 'pillar in its own cup:
The smallest one become disconsolate, didn't eat, and went legs-up a few days later.
The two fatties then began a very strange dance. They ate all their food, then crawled up the sides of the cups to the coffee filter tops. They took their own paths to the top - but once they got there it was Olympic Synchronized Crawling. They couldn't see each other, but every time I looked they were angled the same direction.
My Friend #2, Hot Mom, checked on her identical twins in their sleep once and was a little freaked that they were sleeping in exactly the same curled up position. I thought of that when the 'pillars began curling toward the magnetic North Pole or however they did it.
They were two identical little fuzzy J's when I left the house. Gary had the day off, and I called mid-day for a report.
"They are both hanging straight up-and-down."
"No," I said, "They were like J's. The Painted Ladies turned right into brown chrysalises next."
"What can I tell you? They're hanging straight up and down."
Those things better not die on his watch, I thought as I hung up. When I got home later I rushed straight to the cups.
This is what I saw:
"Damnit Gary! You let them die! They pooped and died. There's just poop and a shriveled ball of fuzz!"
"They were there the last time I looked!"
I held up the cup and peeked upward. "Well they aren't here now. It's just poop, fuzz, and a green leaf they didn't eat - " and I almost dropped the cup.
It would seem that right before they pupate, Monarch caterpillars straighten out, void their bowels, shed their fuzz, then turn into a green plastic thing in a few hours. Very unexpected. It's kind of like if Hot Mom had gone in to wake up her twins the next morning and they had both turned into steam irons.