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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Wildlife Wednesday – Snowberry Clearwing Hummingbird Moth

I saw this beauty feeding on my basil.It’s so fast that I got only a few photos and one super short video.

Snowberry Clearwing Hummingbird Moth
taking off after feeding on my basil.


Wishing you all a beautiful Wednesday!

Related Post:
Snowberry Clear Wing Hummingbird Moth

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edited 8-3-2017
I fixed the word ‘Snowberry’.
I misspelled it on the video, the photos & this post.
I apologize for my mistake & any confusion I may have caused.
 

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WildLife Wednesday – Black Swallowtail Butterflies

6 Black Swallowtail butterflies have emerged from their chrysalises.  They’re so quick and sneaky that I haven’t had the priviledge of watching any of them emerge.
There are 3 males and 3 females. That’s pretty neat to have an even split.

There’s 1 chrysalis to go. It’s getting super dark and clearish. At this stage you can kind of see the yellow speckles of the wings. I figure it’ll hatch(?) within the next 24 hours.

It’s been very interesting dealing with the birthing of butterflies. However, I don’t plan to bring anymore caterpillars in this year. I’ve read that at some point the black swallowtail caterpillars build chrysalises to overwinter (diapause). I don’t know when that’ll be, so I’m not going to chance it. I figure they’d be better off overwintering out in nature the way God designed them too.

The butterflies have been an enjoyable part of this 4th of July holiday. I’m happy our Grandson got to see the chrysalises and new butterflies. It was an extra bit of fun to share.

Happy Wednesday!

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WildLife Wednesday – Caterpillar Condo

Yesterday evening I was de-beetling my roses when I found a swallowtail butterfly caterpillar on my yellow hybrid tea rose.
The caterpillar was charming on there. I considered leaving it there, but I need to treat my rose for a problem and I couldn’t leave the caterpillar there during the treatment. So, I moved it to one of my fennel plants in my small gnome-flowerbed. Earlier we had noticed there was a couple caterpillars missing from one of the fennels. We presumed the caterpillar was one of the missing ones from the fennel in the small flowerbed. We couldn’t figure out how the caterpillar ended up on the rose bush… until we saw how fast the little fellow is and how far it can travel in a short time.It wasn’t but a few minutes until I saw the caterpillar had left the fennel and ran up and across our wood fence. (sorry about the photo quality. The little guy was moving fast.)I had read that at a certain age these species of caterpillars roamed around before they go to the chrysalis stage. I thought this caterpillar was one step away from spinning silk, so my husband got a pear tree branch for it to climb on. I carefully picked up the caterpillar and put it on the limb. We hoped that it we would get to watch it spin silk and make it’s chrysalis. But it kept climbing out onto to the leaves for a long while and then it fell off onto the ground.I watched it the whole time and was worried it would be eaten by a bird. So I got a small twig and let it climb up on it. It had become my mission to save this caterpillar (and watch it through it’s stages.) I’ve read and saw photos of how folks raise butterflies indoors, it seemed like a good idea. I decided to build the caterpillar a condo and bring it inside. I have an old aquarium that has cracks in it, that I didn’t have the heart to throw away. I’m a hoarder always thinking there’s a craft I can use any old container for even one with cracks in it.

My husband liked the idea. He got a fresh small limb and trimmed the leaves off.  He put it in the aquarium. I put a glass ramekin with a bit of water so the fennel won’t die too quickly. We added the caterpillar and some fennel. My husband thought the caterpillar might get lonely, so we went to the herb bed and got another caterpillar along with the fennel limb it was on.  Now we have 2 caterpillars as sort of indoor pets. I enjoy watching them wonder around the twigs and fennel. Hopefully, they’ll survive and make butterflies in a couple weeks or so.

Have you ever raised butterflies indoors?

Wishing you all beautiful days of flowers and butterflies.

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