Cat ID please...

rsingley(z6a NJ)September 12, 2010

I finally have a host plant with some cats, but it's so late in the season. I added 2 parsley plants to my garden and within a week or two had these little guys. Can anyone ID them for me? If it helps, I've recently seen gulf fritillary's, Tiger Swallowtails, pipevine swallowtails, either black or spicebush swallowtails, a red-spotted purple, a buckeye, and a few monarchs. Yes, after a slow start, it's been a good end to the summer.

Thank you

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It's probably a black swallowtail.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2010 at 6:46PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

An early instar black swallowtail for sure.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2010 at 7:24PM
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rsingley(z6a NJ)

Thanks... perfect choice for our first cat raising... My boys are going to get a kick out of this.

BTW, I suppose I can just buy parsley at the supermarket when they defoliate the 2 plants right?

    Bookmark   September 12, 2010 at 8:47PM
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runmede(7a Virginia)

I wish that was the case, but some parsley at the grocery store may not be safe for them. Would you believe that instead of nice little caterpillars that some farmers use even organic pesticides to rid their plants of these little guys.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2010 at 10:00PM
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rsingley(z6a NJ)

Hadn't really thought of that... Guess I better start buying up all I can find. I have 10 or so babies to feed.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2010 at 10:06PM
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If you have an organic market, that would be your best bet, over those sold at the regular supermarkets. I always thought they didn't use pesticides on herbs, though, but that doesn't stop me from washing them thoroughly before I use them. I just notice that the parsley, dill, and fennel plants sold in the herb sections at nurseries often are sold "with caterpillars" already munching away on them and I assume these are safe.

Congrats on your caterpillars!


    Bookmark   September 13, 2010 at 8:09AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Bt-k, the biological pesticide that has been used to control caterpillars for generations, is approved for organic gardeners and farmers. It would not be at all unusual that even organic growers of these herbs use Bt.

Wash and triple rinse anything that you plan on feeding captive cats 'just in case'. Bt strains occur in nature, too.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2010 at 3:21PM
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