Sunday, October 21, 2018

Caterpillar Update

Last week's blog ended with a cliffhanger. (Click here to read it.)
Were the black swallowtail caterpillars outside on the parsley plants immobilized by the cold or preparing to molt? The very next day the caterpillar above transformed into the stage pictured below. Click to enlarge. 
That black stuff below is its old skin. 
I touched him and he stuck out his little yellow stinkhorn. 
This morning it looks like this, about an inch and a half long -- about half an inch longer than it was this time last week. It is voraciously devouring parsley leaves. This seems almost certainly to be the generation that will spend the winter in chrysalis form. I want them to be fat and ready before I release them into the field of Queen Anne's lace where my other parsley cats have gone. Just waiting for the one pictured below to get a little bigger. 
I call this one Cat2. It shed a skin this morning. I'll bet it is feeling loose and empty and ready to eat some parsley. 

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