is this a cat egg on my dill?

luvahydrangea(Albany, NY 5)June 7, 2011

I zoomed in as much as I could. This is on my dill, a few almost ended up in my salad last night. :D They're sorta yellowish, not sure if you can tell in teh pic. Any idea what this is?

Thanks!

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fighting8r(10 Fort Myers Florida)

Nice pic, that is an Eastern Black Swallowtail egg.

Here is a link that might be useful: papilio polyxenes

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 8:55AM
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butterflymomok(7a NE OK)

Congratulations!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 10:49AM
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luvahydrangea(Albany, NY 5)

Oh boy, what do I do? When I noticed them on the dill i had picked for my salad, I put them aside. The ones that are out there I'll leave alone. Maybe once they hatch we can make some protection for them, but what about the eggs in the house? How do I go about raising them? I can easily make a mesh enclosure for them, but then what? Do I put the enclosure outside and just feed them dill once they hatch? The plant they are attached to is quickly wilting, will they be ok? I wish I had seen the eggs before picking. Now that I know what they look like I"ll be more mindful of them. I'm so excited, I never expected to get eggs from such a beautiful butterfly in my little garden, usually all I get is moths, lol. I would love to raise it from an egg with my 7 year old, it would be so lovely for her to see the whole process. Any advice or links that can give me advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 11:32AM
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fighting8r(10 Fort Myers Florida)

They are just about the most beautiful of them all! I bring them in, because otherwise the caterpillars, and sometimes the eggs, become food for birds, lizards, and/or other insects.

Anyway, I just bring in a cutting of dill (or whatever food source I have for them), and put it in a bottle, vase, whatever, with water. (I keep the teeny hotel shampoo and airplane liquor bottles for the little guys.) I try and block the bottle opening, either with a piece of paper towel with a tiny hole for the dill stem, or using the bottle's cap and making a hole in it. (Sometimes the teeny cats will crawl right into the water in the bottle, and they are very poor swimmers!)

Usually these cuttings, when placed in water, stay nice and wilt-free when I bring them in from the heat. Then I put a new cutting in after a couple of days so they can crawl onto the fresh stuff. It takes some time, but it is so worth it when the butterfly emerges!
good luck!
kelly

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 1:41PM
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mechelle_m(z9 TX)

Black swallowtails will also eat fennel, parsley, carrot tops (the green tops) and queen anne's lace (I never had much luck with them eating the qal, but if that was all that was available, they would eat it.)

Some chrysalids will overwinter as a chrysalid. I have had some for over a year before they emerge and I have had some die in chrysalis form.

It is a very rewarding experience to watch the caterpillars grow from a teeny cat to a beautiful butterfly. I have several enclosures that I made from large plastic containers and some window screen material. I bring in the plant cuttings for food and have some juice glasses for this purpose. I put plastic wrap over the top of the glass and poke holes in it for the stems of food and fill with water as needed. It keeps the cats out of the water, they will drown.

Good luck! And congratulations! I haven't had much bf activity this year and really miss seeing them!

Mechelle

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 7:20PM
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luvahydrangea(Albany, NY 5)

We're having so much fun watching them. Just sharing some updated pics. Enjoy! :)

    Bookmark   June 11, 2011 at 11:00PM
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