Zebra Swallowtail caterpillars (NEW)

bandjzmom(7 NWGeorgia)June 15, 2013

And more photos from today. Sorry I didn't add them all to the last post. For some reason, my new post doesn't show right away on my computer. #1D here is very fat and is eating more than the others. Hard to imagine that it was a dark little cat on 6/8/13.

This post was edited by bandjzmom on Sat, Jun 15, 13 at 16:59

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bandjzmom(7 NWGeorgia)

Here is #3D in all of its black velvet glory. It was munching Pawpaw as I shot this one. :o)

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 5:01PM
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bandjzmom(7 NWGeorgia)

The Unique ones. I like that these guys are unique. Well, at least they are unique today. Who knowswhat a couple of days will bring? :o)

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 5:02PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

The different instars of the differing individuals are SO interesting!

Sherry

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 8:43PM
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bandjzmom(7 NWGeorgia)

Thanks Sherry. I was curious as to whether or not the black ones would remain black all the way through, and I got my answer. They don't necessarily. I am also amazed by the differing color schemes and patterns. Do you know how long until they pupate? I know that the Spicebush cats I just had took 3 weeks where my Black Swallowtails have never taken that long. I assume that they will purge prior to pupation?
Angie

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 9:38PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Yes, Angie, they purge like all swallowtails, but I can't remember how long it takes - it's been a while since I reared my one brood. As I recall, it was similar to the length of time other swallowtail cats take.

Sherry

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 10:23PM
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bandjzmom(7 NWGeorgia)

Well, they are getting pretty big now, and I just keep wondering how much larger they will get before pupation. I guess we just learn as we go. :o) Thanks!

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 7:58AM
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Leafhead

Swallowtail cats can take up to 5 days as a #5 instar to mature and pupate. They'll generally spend 2 days apiece in the lower instars.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 8:34AM
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bandjzmom(7 NWGeorgia)

Thanks Leafhead! Good info. So, where would you say my cats are right now? 4th or 5th?

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 4:17PM
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Leafhead

Based on the scale, I'd say 4th.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 5:45PM
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bandjzmom(7 NWGeorgia)

Thanks a bunch. I believe that we may have a purge with #1 this morning. Sure looks suspicious for purge to me. All of the others are very still this morning. Thinking maybe this is the last molt for them. They were very busy eating during the night, as evidenced by the leaf carnage and frass filled containers.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 12:46PM
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