- Queen Anne's Lace
We started out with a few Fennel plants when the first Black Swallowtail butterfly laid eggs in our garden. We ended up raising 13 butterflies and had to go out and buy parsley to keep up with their appetite.
A tiny tiny egg on our fennel (right above my watermark):
The egg darkens when's it's about ready to hatch. (right below my watermark)
And a tiny tiny caterpillar is born about 3-5 days after the egg was laid.
The first butterfly to visit laid 6 eggs. Here are the 6 newborns.Can you find them all?
They have a lot of growing to do. As they grow, they molt their old skin (and eat it).
A neat tidbit about the Black Swallowtail caterpillar is its defense mechanism. This little one had wondered away after they had finished off the food in the cage. I was trying to encourage him onto a new piece of food and accidentally poked him. Out came these orange antenna (the osmeterium) and a horrible smell.
They just get more and more beautiful as they grow.
Finally, they pick a spot to start working on their chrysalis.
After about 10 days, the chrysalis darkens showing that the butterfly is just about ready to emerge.
They can be held when they are drying their wings because they can not fly.
Telling the males from the females is easy. The males have more yellow and the females have more blue on their hindwings.
Bye bye butterfly!!
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