After having gotten sidetracked by the car wreck that totaled my van (in the background awaiting pickup by the insurance company), I am finally able to get around to posting some photos of the sequence of metamorphosis of the Black Swallowtails from larvae to adults. Click on the photos to enlarge.
The netting I used to keep predators away from the caterpillars for a few days until some of them could grow large enough to pupate; not pretty, but functional
One of the big ones before I covered the fennel (my hand is behind the caterpillar to show scale; I'm not holding it because I try to handle them as little as possible)
Looking through the netting at two of the larger ones busy munching fennel
Three more through the netting; can you find them?
A big one who will be getting "sleepy" soon, but still has plenty of eating to do
One of the caterpillars "getting sleepy" (beginning to pupate)
A chrysalis formed by one of the four caterpillars I temporarily moved to a butterfly cage
On the fennel--empty chrysalis (brown) at top and one still waiting (green) at bottom
An empty chrysalis from the butterfly cage
Occupant of the empty chrysalis in the previous photo; one of "my babies" after having emerged from the chrysalis, its wings all pumped up and dry
Pester taking far too much interest in the butterfly
Moving the butterfly from Pester's reach
Brand new Black Swallowtail fluttering over the flowers; the fennel has seen better days
FROM THE PRINCESS ...
7 years ago