So excited. I have lots of Swallowtail Caterpillars

Home Forums Gardening Bugs and Butterflies So excited. I have lots of Swallowtail Caterpillars

This topic contains 10 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by narnian narnian 2 months ago.

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  • #5272317 Report Abuse
    SandraRW
    SandraRW
    Participant

    My fennel plant is filled with all sizes of caterpillars. Here are a few pics.

    I was worried that I was not going to have many because I had not seen many butterflies this year. I guess I was trying to hurry them along to fast. I have noticed that most Swallowtail butterflies this year seem to be worn and tattered looking.

    If you look closely there is five on this one pod

    one of the bigger “fellows”

    the tattered look

     

     

     


    • This topic was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by SandraRW SandraRW.
    #5272321 Report Abuse
    steve232__nc
    steve232__nc
    Participant

    Ok Sandra that does it. Next year I’m going to grow some fennel. I have quiet a few swallowtails here but have no idea what they’re eating here for a host plant. I have some milkweed but all I get on them is lots of caterpillars for moths. Even the caterpillars in your pictures are pretty. Now I just have to find a way to remember next year to plant some fennel lol.



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    #5272323 Report Abuse
    SandraRW
    SandraRW
    Participant

    And plant parsley. They love it too. I have 3 on a small parsley plant.


    #5272326 Report Abuse
    CatsBirds
    CatsBirds
    Participant

    Wow… amazing… now I will  have to plant some parsley and fennel next year…  great pics of the butterflies… even the tattered ones… I have very few here this year..


    Sharon, Catsbirds, Community Team Member
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    #5272333 Report Abuse
    Gayle
    Gayle
    Participant

    I’m almost sure the 2nd picture is a Monarch Cat but I was told they didn’t eat anything but Milkweed.

    This is a Monarch Cat on my Milkweed.  Don’t they look the same?

    And I’m going to try some plants for the Swallowtails next year also (in pots)


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    #5272684 Report Abuse
    Jill Staake
    Jill Staake
    Keymaster

    So great to see everyone’s Black Swallowtails! One point I want to make, though, is that Black Swallowtails are different from Tiger Swallowtails, and several of you have posted photos of both kinds of butterflies.

    Tiger Swallowtails in most areas are yellow (with a few exceptions), while the Black Swallowtails are, well, black. Tiger Swallowtails don’t host on fennel, parsley, dill, etc. – they host on trees like cherry, birch, and cottonwood. The caterpillars shown here are Black Swallowtails. (Except Gayle’s – those are monarchs. Hurray!)

    Learn more about the two species:

    Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus): http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Papilio-glaucus

    Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes): http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Papilio-polyxenes

    Keep sharing your photos… I love seeing them!


    Jill Staake (florida33girl@gmail.com)
    Birds & Blooms Community Manager
    Tampa, Florida Zone 9b

    #5275274 Report Abuse
    SandraRW
    SandraRW
    Participant

    Jill. Looky, looky, Yeah!! I have 4 Monarch caterpillars today. They are on my Tropical Milkweed. I found them by accident. My Tropical Milkweed that is still in large pots near my balcony had aphids and I was rubbing them off. I accidentally knocked one caterpillar off and could not believe what I was seeing! I kept looking on the underside of leaves and found 4. I have moved them into a butterfly cage and giving them both types of milkweed…. tropical and common…. to see if they prefer one over the other. I threw in a bloom too. Left the cage in the shade outside to keep an eye on them. It is very hot here today. 


    #5275425 Report Abuse
    Jill Staake
    Jill Staake
    Keymaster

    That is SO COOL, Sandra! I’m so glad to see reports of these popping up among our members. Congrats on your very successful butterfly garden this year!


    Jill Staake (florida33girl@gmail.com)
    Birds & Blooms Community Manager
    Tampa, Florida Zone 9b

    #5275465 Report Abuse

    pkh
    Participant

    I grew parsley and dill in pots and all of sudden noticed lots of caterpillars munching away. I  found out these were black swallowtails but could only locate two cocoons later. When will the butterflies emerge? Some websites said the butterflies won’t emerge until winter is over?

    I live in high desert of New Mexico.  I plan next year to grow more food for these beautiful butterflies

     


    #5275616 Report Abuse
    Jill Staake
    Jill Staake
    Keymaster

    pkh – The caterpillars often wander far away from the plants to form their chrysalis (butterflies make a chrysalis, moths make a cocoon – there’s your vocabulary lesson for the day! :) ) In general, they emerge from chrysalis about 2-3 weeks later, but if it’s late in the season, they will overwinter in their chrysalis until the following spring. Learn more about butterflies in winter here: http://www.birdsandblooms.com/blog/butterflies-in-winter/

    Congrats to everyone on their butterfly successes this year!


    Jill Staake (florida33girl@gmail.com)
    Birds & Blooms Community Manager
    Tampa, Florida Zone 9b

    #5276705 Report Abuse
    narnian
    narnian
    Participant

    Sandra…that is great…I am going to grow fennel and dill next year! I guess I am blessed…I have a tulip poplar in by backyard…they are a host plant for the yellow tiger swallowtails. I have a few butterfly weed plants for Monarchs ( I have at least 3 caterpillars) and will try to make a really nice butterfly garden over time.


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