Sunday, June 14, 2015

Caterpillar Season

Hi Caterpillar Fans,

I was busy this morning with my camera.

This first picture is of one of the back swallowtail caterpillars I am rearing in my living room.  : )  It think it is in its 4th and final instar.   It will gorge on plants from the carrot family for 10 - 30 days. Here it is eating the stem of a dill plant.

After gorging itself, it will expel its waste and then go in search of the underside of a suitable branch or twig to affix itself to in order to pupate.  You can see the silk threads that attach it to the twig.  

Also notice the spots or eyes on each of its sections (click any image to bigafy it).

It takes about a day for the caterpillar to go from the above photo to this photo.  Notice the eyes on the now hard pupa.  According to wikipedia, the pupal stage lasts about 18 days….  

You will have to stay tuned to see if the metamorphosis was successful.

There are 5 caterpillars on this dill plant.  You can only see 4 presently.

This is what 6 caterpillars did to another of my dill plants.  A few days ago it looked like the above plant.  You can see there is one caterpillar left on this plant.  i am waiting for it find its pupal branch.  

Look for me and them in 18 days!!!


Thanks to Patty Rehn for guest blogging. All words and images copyright Patty Rehn.

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