Thursday, October 05, 2006

Lifecycle of Black Swallowtail

One of our favorite things to do in the summertime is to bring a caterpillar into the house to observe. We used to make butterfly houses out of tulle, but now, we just let them free within the house. The larva is happy to stay where the food is!





When it's ready, it simply crawls around a little bit until it finds a suitable place to attach and begin forming the chrysallis.










When the butterfly emerges, it needs some time to dry its wings, which is usually long enough for us to find it for release.









7 comments:

Joanne said...

That's great! I would have never thought to bring it inside. How do you catch the butterfly to bring it outside? Do you have a net of some sort?

Zamozo said...

Awesome! Thanks for documenting and sharing that with us!

Danielle said...

They're pretty still when drying out, and you have to be sure to let them dry pretty fully before trying to touch them. The best way to catch the butterfly is to pinch the wings together as close to the body at the top as possible; this minimizes wing flapping and potential damage.

We haven't had one fly crazy around the house yet, and we've had several hatch out inside. If and when they do (it's probably just a matter of time), yeah, I'd probably use a net.

Petunia Honeysuckle said...

OOOOooo, neeat! We love caterpillars, we hold them a lot but haven't tried keeping it inside until metamorphosis, I'll try that!

Tracy said...

What an awesome idea. It never occured to me to just bring them into the house without housing them! A duh moment, for me. Thanks!

Amanda said...

I love the idea of letting them be free in the house, I will try this next year.

Schuyler said...

I love the picture of the swallowtail on the screen. When I first looked I got visually confused by hallucination of the pixels caused by the screen.

Schuyler