Once again, Robb and I are raising Anise Swallowtail caterpillars in our pantry. The butterflies lay tiny, tiny eggs on our fennel, and once these eggs hatch, I bring the caterpillars inside, to protect them from predation.
The caterpillars go through a series of life-stages, transforming over and over before their final metamorphosis. Its a fascinating process to observe, up close.
This year's group seems hell-bent on attaching themselves to the Worst Possible Places. The green chrysalis is attached to a piece of screen that used to be part of their tank's lid. The lid is seated in a track, which means that anything attached to the lid gets squished when the lids opens. Or, since we're tender-hearted, it means that we cut apart the lids to save the butterflies. Robb assures me that we can replace the screen without too much trouble. Yesterday, another caterpillar did the exact same thing, despite all the tempting sticks I've provide. (You may be able to see a brown chrysalis attached to a lovely safe stick, on the right side of the photo.)
At the moment, we have seven chrysalises pupating. It will be interesting to see if this batch hatches out right away, or if some of them delay hatching until next spring. We've seen both, and I'm unaware of any pattern for predicting which way it will go.
A Year Ago
I was drowning in work, and didn't write anything on the blog
Two Years Ago
Three Years Ago
Four Years Ago
Five Years Ago
Six Years Ago
Seven Years Ago
Eight Years Ago
Nine Years Ago