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?
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!)
you know she won't listen!
I have a new bird poop caterpillar. Should I bring it indoors?
Bird poop caterpillar? That's a new one to me :) Tell me more.
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.
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
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?
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.
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?
I would think they would come out before winter....one to two weeks, probably.
Well, those little buggers are still wrapped tight. It's only been two weeks. Should I be concerned?
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 :)
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.
Didn't expect it. What a fabulous surprise when I watered this morning. There are 4 in the parsley.
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.
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.
My Giant Swallowtail took 17 days to hatch in a house where the temp is about 78.
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.
Oh. Thank you so much for the visual aids, Lisa. I was clueless. I know just the tub to put them in.
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 :)
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.
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.