Pupating caterpillar fell

veronica123June 20, 2014

Hi I have a caterpillar that fell and is trying to shed its skin to become a crysalys. It has split open and still has the caterpillar skin on for 3hours now. Is there anything to do to help it or is it too late? I think it is a black swallowtail. The 6caterpillars certainly ate a lot of dill.

This is my first exposure to any of this...

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KC Clark - Zone 2012-6a OH

I have helped caterpillars shed their skin but the longer you wait, the tougher it gets because things are drying off. I'd say give it a shot because things cannot get worse.


    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 9:44PM
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Kristy Asao

Really hope you can help that poor thing! But it was 3 hours (around how long it takes for Monarch chrysalises to harden, some times 2 hours). :-(

This post was edited by Protego on Fri, Jun 20, 14 at 22:31

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 10:27PM
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runmede(7a Virginia)

Even if a black swallowtail falls, they still should be able to finish their pupation. I've seen blacks, zebra, and Pipevine swallowtails pupate after they fell from their girdle and while laying down.

If it does not complete its pupation something else must be wrong. Don't beat yourself up. It happens.

Here is a link that might be useful: Black Swallowtail Life Cycle -- Click here for info and photos

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 12:01AM
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