Swallowtail Help

luvabasilSeptember 23, 2013

The grand-daughter is documenting the life of a swallowtail from hatching to chrysalis. She has 4, and they are all "saddled" (?) just hanging there. They have been there for 30 hours. just hanging. motionless. Is this normal?
Luvabasil

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Lisa_H OK(7)

They should be changing...look in the a.m., I bet they will be in their chrysalis.

(tell her a watched pot never boils...that's how I feel every time I'm watching!)

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 9:47PM
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luvabasil

you know she won't listen!

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 10:10PM
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Lisa_H OK(7)

Any news?

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 10:20PM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

I have a new bird poop caterpillar. Should I bring it indoors?

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 3:25PM
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Lisa_H OK(7)

Bird poop caterpillar? That's a new one to me :) Tell me more.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 4:44PM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

It is on rue and has a better name. I don't want to say the name because I am not sure. See my post here for a picture of it.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 5:47PM
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Lisa_H OK(7)

Helen I think it is a giant swallowtail cat. The rue was a big help to narrow it down. I put a note on the butterfly forum, so Sandy may hop over, but that looks right to me.

Here is a link that might be useful: Giant Swallowtail cats

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 12:43AM
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luvabasil

After scaring me half to pieces, they are in their little houses. I was out of town, but it must have been fascinating! At first I thought the chrysalis was part of the stick, but nope. Should I bring them in, or leave them in a sheltered spot outside?

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 2:27PM
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Lisa_H OK(7)

Do you have them in some type of netting? I usually put them in a mesh (covered) cage and set them on my front porch.

Usually mine have "hatched" in the morning. They need to flap their wings for a while before you let them go.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2013 at 1:10AM
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luvabasil

right now, each one has their own half gallon jar with light cheesecloth covering the opening, and they are on the back patio beneath the ferns. Will they overwinter or come out soon?

    Bookmark   September 30, 2013 at 4:37PM
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Lisa_H OK(7)

I would think they would come out before winter....one to two weeks, probably.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2013 at 10:32PM
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luvabasil

Well, those little buggers are still wrapped tight. It's only been two weeks. Should I be concerned?

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 6:10PM
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TreeRoots

My .02
They might enter diapause (hibernate through the winter) Once it starts cooling down in your area, and they still haven't emerged, move them to a safe area where they can feel the cold temperatures. Once it warms again, they'll emerge and you can set the beauties free :)

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 8:20PM
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Lisa_H OK(7)

I asked this over at the Butterfly forum for you....there was a similar response to TreeRoot's

Can anyone help answer Luvbasil's question in the Oklahoma forum? She has swallowtail chrysalises and is wondering if they will "hatch" out before winter.?

Only if they are not kept sufficiently cool. Keep outdoors where they'll be safe from predators but are still subjected to low temps, like on a porch or in an unheated garage.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 12:30PM
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chickencoupe

Didn't expect it. What a fabulous surprise when I watered this morning. There are 4 in the parsley.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 11:25AM
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Lisa_H OK(7)

Bring them in and finish raising them. Your kids should find it fascinating. Plus :) all my cats disappear. If I want to make sure they make it to a butterfly stage, I have to bring them inside.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 2:37PM
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chickencoupe

Really? Okay!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 1:08AM
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Lisa_H OK(7)

Put them in a covered ventilated container. Put some sticks in for them to climb on. Hopefully they will use them when they go into their "cocoon". The butterfly forum should have some info.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 9:01AM
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kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)

My Giant Swallowtail took 17 days to hatch in a house where the temp is about 78.
Kristi

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 9:05AM
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Lisa_H OK(7)

Put a paper towel or newspaper at the bottom of the container, you will need to clean out the container, probably every day.

oh, here's one of the shots I was looking for:

Hopefully they will attach to the sticks (can you see the wings? they are getting ready to eclose, probably the next morning)

After they attach, I put them in a mesh laundry container, put the sticks in flower foam to hold them upright and cover the container with a light towel/cloth...and use clothes pins! I put them on the porch until they hatch. They need to be protected because of predators (ie wasps, etc).

Mine nearly always eclose in the morning...like 8 or 9 a.m. They need time to flap their wings before they fly off.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 11:45AM
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chickencoupe

Oh. Thank you so much for the visual aids, Lisa. I was clueless. I know just the tub to put them in.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 1:12PM
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Lisa_H OK(7)

You are welcome. I always find pictures more helpful than just words!

I didn't mention it above, but I also put the chrysalises on the porch just in case a parasitic wasp got ahold of the caterpillar before I did. If a wasp hatches, I don't want it in my house :)

Lisa

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 10:50PM
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chickencoupe

We were too slow for those. Today, we found another and will continue to keep watch. The parsley is located just beneath the coneflowers. Did that on accident, but betting there will be quite a few? Perfect for swallowtails lol We placed it in a happy tub. Do they crawl up the stick to rest? Cuz it already climbed up and is just sitting there on the bare stick.

fun!

bon

    Bookmark   August 17, 2014 at 4:30PM
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Lisa_H OK(7)

They will hopefully use it when they go into their "j" and start the cocoon process. Sometimes they use it to just get around, I think.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2014 at 11:11PM
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