Thursday, September 11, 2008

Rosemary Stripey Caterpillar

As of Tuesday, we have a new caterpillar pet. It is the caterpillar of the Black Swallowtail Butterfly. A friend at our homeschool group found several on her parsley and decided to share them. We were thrilled to get one. Bobbi and Tyler have named her Rosemary Stripey (we couldn't decide, so we combined names). We only had her for a day before she started to wander. Caterpillars do that before they begin to pupate. They also empty out their digestive tract. (Yuck!) She wandered around and around the little box she is in before deciding on a spot to stick to. I tried to get her to attach to a stick, but she wasn't interested.

They attach themselves with what looks like spider's web. There is a bunch on her bottom side and then there is a small string coming from her to the wall of the box. If you look close, you can see it. It is white.

There is also one on the other side, but it didn't photograph well. How she did this, I don't know. If you look close in the first picture you can see that none of her "legs" are on the wall, just her abdomen(tail) and her head. We are waiting for her to molt one last time. When she does this it will be her pupa or chrysalis. I don't think it is very pretty, but we will wait and see. It really doesn't matter because when she comes out she will be a beautiful Black Swallowtail Butterfly. I must plant lots of parsley next year. I planted carrots this year, but they didn't do well. I want to plant a butterfly/moth garden that will support not only the adult, but also the larva. How cool would that be. I'll keep you posted.



About This Blog

Welcome to my blog. I am a homeschooling mom to two wonderful children. I love science and photography and often combine the two. I am an ultra conservative Christian and have been married to my wonderful hubby for 14 years.

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