Giant Swallowtail - healthy and beautiful
Just wanted to let everyone know the first of three Giant Swallowtail pupas eclosed and it is healthy, strong and beautiful and now flitting around outside.
I lost an entire cage of Pipevine Swallowtails to a tiny wasp infestatiion earlier this year so this release is especially meaningful to me.
I have a lot of BST's in various stages of growth and have had one eclose that was healthy, too. I'm bringing in all the eggs and tiny cats I find and raising them inside.
I've planted more Rue this year, as that host plant covers both the Giant and Black Swallowtail butterflies and the plants are perennial for me and attactive throughout the season. Also have a lot of parsley started, which will be grown in pots on the deck. These new parsley plants will replace the ones which will expire this season. If the fennel comes back next spring, that will be icing on the cake. The spicebush plants have all rooted well enough to make it through this terrible heat this summer so I'm hopeful they are becoming established and will return next year. The pipevines are growing well but I've not had any more eggs since the spring. Maybe next year. If so, I'll bring them inside, where I can better protect them from those tiny wasps.
Have only seen two Monarchs all season and neither left eggs. I have plenty of milkweed and can only hope I have a few stop by on their fall trip to Mexico.
I'm slowly learning what butterfly and hummingbird plants will grow well here in my hot and humid area and discarding those plants that don't do well. Each year is better than the last.