Thursday, August 4, 2011

Black Swallowtail Caterpillars - 2 weeks later

Two weeks have gone by and the tiny fuzzy black caterpillars have grown into chubby striped voracious eaters.  This one is the youngest and still has about a week of growing to do.

The caterpillar below has reached its maximum size of about 1.5 inches and should be pupating in the next day or so.

These side by side caterpillars show two variations in color.  The greener one is from my mom's garden.

The caterpillar below has just turned into a chrysalis.  When they are ready to pupate, the caterpillars begin to slow down and find an appropriate spot on a stick to adhere themselves.  The chrysalis is attached at one end and hangs by a couple of silken threads. 

Notice the caterpillar on the top left of this photo, showing its osmetrium, the orange "horns" which protrude and emit a foul odor when the catepillar feels threatened.

Here's another shot of the osmetrium.

In about 10 -14 days, we expect to release 15 black swallowtails.

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