Wildlife Wednesday – Black Swallowtail Caterpillars and Parasitic wasps

The Black Swallowtail Caterpillars have been feasting heavily on my parsley. The fennel has almost ran it’s course and I suppose that’s why the Mother Butterflies chose the parsley at last. I’m glad I planted it for just that purpose.

I’m more than a bit miffed about a new discovery with the chrysalises. Apparently there’s parasitic wasps that injects their eggs into the chrysalis. Their young feeds off the butterfly pupae and hatch out. I’ve found several chrysalises with the circular hole in them.

It’s a wonder that butterflies survive at all. 

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Black Swallowtail Butterfly Lifecycle

Here’s my video of the black swallowtail butterfly emerging from it’s chrysalis. It’s pretty neat to see the butterfly emerge and watch it climb as high as it can. My video isn’t perfect, but I’m glad to have it anyway.

Here’s a gallery of the basic lifecycle of the black swallowtail butter from egg to butterfly. 
*There another stage not shown; a shedding of the skin off of the chrysalis. I wasn’t quick enough to capture that stage in a photo or on video.
These photos are from different butterflies. I tried to choose the clearest photos to share. I copied some of them from my video of the chrysalis hatching(?).

And for now, with the exception of watching new caterpillars in the wild, this ends my butterfly farming for the year.  I think it was a success.

Wishing you all a successful week.

*edited in 7-12-2017- Over the past few days, I’ve been watching some black swallowtail butterfly eggs and today I discovered they hatched. I managed to get a photo of the tiny caterpillar less than 24 hours old. I added the photo to the gallery.

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