Sunday, August 26, 2007

Eastern Black Swallowtail Butterflies

Isn't he cute???? Last weekend, Zoey at Perennial Passion posted a photo of caterpillars like this on her blog. They were on her parsley plants. I went out and looked, and sure enough I had them on mine too. I was really happy that I had seen Zoey's post before I saw the caterpillars, because they look like ugly green worms, and my parsley plants probably would have been in the garbage about 15 seconds after I saw them! I'm not crazy about squishy, crawly things.

But thanks to Zoey they're still crawling around on my parsley, and sometime soon they should form their cocoons and then turn into beautiful Eastern Black Swallowtail butterflies.Today I counted 11 caterpillars on my two Italian parsley plants. I'm hoping they do the cocoon thing somewhere I can watch the daily progress.

But if I can't, Zoey put two of hers in a jar and is posting regularly about their progress. If you go to her blog, look at Aug 19, 23, and 24th. On the 24th, she videoed one of caterpillars shedding its skin. It is absolutely awesome! I've linked Zoey's blog here. Check it out!!

Perennial Passion

Thanks Zoey - this is VERY cool!!!


September 5th update: I just read an article that I found very informative. Butterflies come from chrysalids (chrysalis is the singular); moths come from cocoons. I had in my head that chrysalis was the process of becoming a cocoon or a butterfly (yeah, it's been a long time since I was in grade school!). Anyway, now I know!

15 comments:

Zoey said...

You are welcome, Kris.

Don't be surprised if you go out one morning and they are all gone. I read that they can travel quite a distance from the pasley to wherever they decide to make the cocoon. I went out today and checked all over my deck to see if any were hanging around. I didn't find any, so I am very glad I put them in the jar. It was truly amazing to see the transformation! I was pretty calm in the video, but you should have heard me in the first one--I kept saying, OMG, Jim, come out here! Look at this!...LOL.

I am sending your seeds tomorrow.

Tristi Pinkston said...

Absolutely fascinating!

violetlady said...

That video is so amazing. I have never seen anything like it. I would like to see when it turns into a butterfly, too. I love your green and black caterpillar. I am also squeemish about creepy crawlies, but he is beautiful.

Rosehaven Cottage said...

I just LOVE swallowtail caterpillars! They only eat parsley, dill, and fennel. Rosehaven Cottage has lots of fennel so we get these little guys too! Congratulations!!!!! Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

T*mmy said...

What a neat idea...I'll have to pop over there and watch ;)

Trailhead said...

That was a great video!

It made me wish I was growing parsley in the upper midwest, dangit.

Sally said...

Holy cow! That was fantastic! Thanks so much for linking to Zoey's lovely blog.

Connie said...

What a beautiful caterpillar! Thanks for sharing....will be checking out Zoey's blog, as well.

Candace Salima (LDS Nora Roberts) said...

I'm not big on bugs, but I have to admit, it would be cool to watch the process from caterpillar to butterfly. Good luck.

Giddy said...

I love the photos of your blooms and the caterpillars. I try to leave the caterpillars, but I sure wish I had a nice, environmentally safe way to get rid of grasshoppers - they are chewing holes in everything!

Nan - said...

These creatures are miracles of nature to me. Great posting, Kris.

Dirty Fingernails said...

One day they are there, the next day gone.. Just ask my little ones who think they will stay in an uncovered shoe box overnight..

Catherine said...

He is cute!! How cool! Wow 11 on 2 plants! They really love parsley! your photo's are great!! Keep us posted !
Cat

Me said...

They love fennel - last year I had them all over my fennel. We have one of those mesh butterfly cages for hatching them...it is fun to watch.

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

I can't wait to get home from work and check my parsley!