Pipevine Swallowtail Eggs Already!
I had about 65 PVS chrysalides that overwintered for me, and about ?15 have emerged so far this year, ALL females! There's one that emerged late this afternoon, and I've been frustrated that she's another female. Well, anyway, I didn't think I'd be seeing any eggs, since there were no males coming from my cages to mate with the girls. But this afternoon, I found three clusters of eggs on some pipevines in my garden! I had seen a female flitting around the house with that "I'm looking for aristolochia" look - she flitted around the new leaves on the cherry tree and the wax myrtle to see if they were right, they weren't, so she left.
Either she found a fella that came from elsewhere, or these eggs are infertile. The fact that they're so well stuck onto the vines makes me think they're fertile. The cold winter has delayed the new growth on the vines - usually they have much more new growth on them by now. It's been warm for the past several days, though, 81 degrees today, so their growth could take off.
Also, the first of my spicebush swallowtails emerged this afternoon - butterflies usually emerge in the morning - and it is a male. I'll release him tomorrow. There are a number of PVS chrysalides that look like they'll be emerging tomorrow, also.
I found another viceroy or red-spotted purple caterpillar on the willow, not surprising, because I knew there were more than three hibernacula.
Here's a picture of one of the egg clusters -