Help.,.,Quick

bev2009(6 IN)July 16, 2011

I've been watching a yellow swallowtail cat for some time and today caught him off the dill plant and on the wooden frame of the raised bed. I was out gardening, so I put him in a glass bowl with saran (in the house) while I finished gardening.

Should I put some more dill in the bowl to see if he is going to eat? If he doesn't, I saw on you tube to put him in a half of toilet paper roll with a paper towel rubber banned on and I guess he will attach to the paper towel to make his chrysalis. Not sure what to do with him them.

I hadn't planned on raising them this year, I was going to try for the first time next year. But I hated to see this fellow crawl away to his doom.

Help would be much appreciated. I have two baby black swallowtails on the dill as well.

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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Do you have any bridal mesh you can put on top of the bowl instead of Saran Wrap? It'll need some air, and when it emerges, it'll need something to grasp hold of.
Yes, put some more food in the bowl - it may have been going off to molt, not pupate and need something to eat after it molts. Not seeing it, I don't have a clue which instar it's in. It there's no orange left on the cat - just green and yellow, as I recall - it should be in the last instar and probably pupating.
You'll need to put something in the bowl for it to pupate on. The inside of a toilet paper roll will do.
Sherry

    Bookmark   July 16, 2011 at 2:31PM
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bev2009(6 IN)

Here's a picture. I have a net type bag, that you can blow through. Is a canning jar OK? Should I boil it first..the jar not the cat.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2011 at 3:56PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

I think a canning jar is fine. As long as the jar is clean, it'll be okay. That looks like a stick you've provided the cat to pupate on, but it might use the side of the jar, if it can attach itself to it. Only thing is, a canning jar won't give the butterfly enough space to exercise its wings, so you might want to buy a reptarian/butterfly cage or pop-up laundry basket to put the stick or jar in after pupation. If you have one now, you could use that instead of the canning jar.
It looks like your cat is last instar, so pupation is about to happen. It'll trot around for a while first.
Sherry

    Bookmark   July 16, 2011 at 4:42PM
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bev2009(6 IN)

So far so good. After crawling non-stop for 2 1/2 hours, he is on the stick midway down and not moving. This would be a good place to pupate, because I can get a butterfly cage ordered and move the stick into it before he emerges. Thanks for your help, Sherry. I'll take another pic when he pupates.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2011 at 5:45PM
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bev2009(6 IN)

Actually, I've been surfing and this is the black swallowtail cat, isn't it, not the yellow?

    Bookmark   July 16, 2011 at 10:22PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

The cat in the picture is a black swallowtail.
By yellow swallowtail, did you mean tiger swallowtail?
If so, tigers don't use dill or parsley or other carrot family plants. Tigers use, primarily, wild black cherry and tulip poplar trees.
Sounds like everything is going good.
Sherry

    Bookmark   July 16, 2011 at 11:13PM
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terrene(5b MA)

Good luck Bev! Good for you bringing him (or her) in, as he would make a tasty bird treat. Has he "purged" yet that you noticed? When they are done eating and ready to pupate, they spit up a lot of green goo. I was a bit appalled the first time I saw a BST cat purge and thought something was wrong with it!

After that, I put the cat in an aquarium with a screen top, and some leafy sticks. They prefer to pupate on the sticks hiding under the leaves. The aquarium is where my Monarchs and BST's eclose.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 8:42AM
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bev2009(6 IN)

He's hardly move since 4 pm yesterday. He hasn't purged, but he might have done that yesterday while still outside. He didn't eat any of the dill I put in the bowl. No leaves on the stick, but I would hate to mess with him at this point. I could lay another stick next to the one he is on with some leaves to kind of cover him if you think it is necessary.

Sherry, I guess I did mean the Tiger Swallowtail. I see a lot of those in the yard and assumed they also used the dill. I don't have a tulip poplar or wild cherry for them, but should probably get one as they are a regular visitor.

I ordered a pop up laundry basket, so I should arrive this week.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 1:47PM
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bev2009(6 IN)

We have lift off...or drop down!

Here's a shot of the Tiger swallowtail from last year outside my window:

    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 3:09PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Yep, you'll have a chrysalis soon!
The tiger picture is beautiful!
Sherry

    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 3:17PM
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bev2009(6 IN)

Just an update...Last Sunday night (7-17-11) I went to bed at 10 pm and still had a caterpillar. Woke up at 12 and it was a chrysalis. I'm disappointed I missed it, but amazed how fast it happens.

Not I'm just waiting for a butterfly!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 12:20PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Congrats!
In my experience, the green chrysalides never overwinter, always emerge quickly, so you should see a butterfly soon.
Sherry

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 12:56PM
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bev2009(6 IN)

I leave Wed. a.m. for vacation, but the family will take care of it for me if I miss it. I would think in this heat that it would emerge faster.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 7:12PM
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lucas_tx_gw

I have a brown one that pupated around July 8. I thought he was probably dead, but could he just be planning to overwinter?

I'm in North Texas and it was in the house most of its life.

If you do think it's going to overwinter, that's a first for, so what do I need to do with it?

Thanks

Teri

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 7:32PM
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bev2009(6 IN)

We have liftoff! The chrysalis started turning black this morning. I was at work while it happened, but it was a succesful eclose.

Empty chrysalis

Butterly

This was the only picture I got because once I unzipped the hamper, it flew the coop. It couldn't wait to get out. I even turned the hamper on its side, hoping he would stay at the "top" so I could get the camera in for a shot.

Sorry, Lucas. I can't answer your question. I'm strickly an amateur.

Thanks for everyone's help.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 6:00PM
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terrene(5b MA)

Congrats! That is a male. I've noticed the BSTs are very antsy once they are ready to fly. I try to take photos of them before they start getting antsy. Beautiful butterflies!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 6:13PM
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wifey2mikey(7a Tulsa, OK)

Teri - just leave it alone and I bet it will eclose next spring. Every year I've done this I've had at least a few that have waited til the following year. This year, a lot of them have not eclosed yet and I'm wondering if it has to do with the heat - maybe some force of nature telling them to wait until next year when weather conditions and therefore food supply will be better. That's purely just an uneducated guess though.

I've never had a BST die. So I am not sure what to tell you to look for as far as signs of death or illness.

~Laura

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 6:51PM
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lucas_tx_gw

Where do you keep them if you have to keep them around for 6 months or so?

I was wondering if they were getting some "bad drought" hormone telling them not to go into diapause, because it seems awfully early to me.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 6:59PM
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river_crossroads z8b Central Louisiana

Hi Bev, on July 17, 2011 you wrote: "I ordered a pop up laundry basket .... "

Did you order it online & could you post the link if you like what you got? If you don't like it, could you or someone else post dimensions of what would be a good size (minimum size) and a link if you happen to have one.

I see someone used a screen for a top. Is that a good idea so it can attach itself to the stiff screen if it wishes?

I am just working on my plants right now, echinacea like the pics and new cuttings of our native phlox pilosa, and have hopes of cats someday. I am enjoying the pictures. Lucas, I see you started a new thread - good luck! Miss Sherry, I have relatives at Bay St Louis, Mississippi. Their house was flooded during Katrina but they are back in it now.

Thanks!
River

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 9:06PM
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river_crossroads z8b Central Louisiana

Sorry, left out the parsley that I have right now & the bronze fennel that I hope to grow.

Thanks,
River

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 9:16PM
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bev2009(6 IN)

River,
I do like the laundry basket. It is large, so next year I can plan ahead and grow dill and fennel in a pot that will fit in the basket.

I don't know if you are familiar with wintersowing, but there is a forum here for it. I grew many butterfly/larvae plants from seed using the method. Trading seeds online here is a great way to get lots of plants cheaply.

Here is a link that might be useful: pop up laundry basket

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 9:56PM
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river_crossroads z8b Central Louisiana

Thanks so much, Bev. I am getting the laundry basket, it looks great. I volunteer at a community garden. I am hoping we might find a cat for me to raise and I would like to get the other volunteers involved as well. Thanks for the winter sowing/exchanging advice. Appreciate it!

River

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 10:04PM
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