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first Giant Swallowtail cat spotted this morning

Posted by mary_littlerockar 8a-7b Central Arkans ( on
Wed, Apr 18, 12 at 11:43

On my quick walk a round recently, I noticed what I thought was a Giant Swallowtail egg on the Rue. Sure enough, this morning there is a tiny little cat munching away. I'm hoping mama GST left more eggs and I just haven't spotted them. I should bring the little guy in as they are quite easy to care for. Because of my husband's illness, I'd not planned on raising any cats indoors this season but as always, I see the tiny litte things and the desire to try and protect them kicks in!

Also noticed pipevine eggs on the pipevines. Sherry, not one seed pod developed on the pipevines but at least I got to see the blooms! :-)

Hope everyone is having early success this spring. I've yet to see a Monarch but my days are mostly spent at the hospital so if any have stopped by, I've missed them. The common milkweed that is now three years old (and growing in a big pot) has finally grown the size of leaves I'd expect to see on this plant. I guess it takes the plants a few seasons to mature. Another big pot I started last year contains only very small common milkweed plants while the other pot with the older plants have huge plants and leaves already. I do believe one of those big leaves could feed several baby cats all day.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: first Giant Swallowtail cat spotted this morning

Congrats, Mary! Considering how easy giant swallowtails are to raise, I'm sure you'll have time to raise a few. A giant swallowtail passed through here, but left me no eggs - maybe it was a male. You sure need something like a few caterpillars to keep your spirits up these days! And I hope things are looking up for your hubby!

I'm not surprised your pipevines didn't make any seed pods, since that's apparently a once-in-a-life-time thing. But A. tomentosa really colonizes, not the first few years, but after it gets a little age on it, it really spreads. Mine have colonized all down the length of long fences around my garden, and some is growing into a gardenia bush in the corner. The pipevine swallowtails have found it all and laid eggs everywhere, including on the A. fimbriata plants I got from seeds you sent me, Mary - thanks!
Two of the monarchs in the cage are chrysalides, and all the rest but one are in the "J" - the ones outside must have pupated or are now doing so, because they were farther along than the caged ones. The two chrysalides look healthy, no sign of having been parasitized or having any disease - knock on wood!
I'm raising two spicebush swallowtails and will soon bring two more in to raise. I'm also raising two palamedes and one tiger swallowtail, plus two red-spotted purples - there are LOTS more of these on the host plants outside. I seem to have gotten over compulsively bringing in as many as I find to raise myself - I just can't handle a lot of cats at one time any more.
The red admirals and American ladies in my cages are emerging daily, about ?three of each so far, with plenty more to go. I also raised four little sleepy oranges, which are now chrysalides, soon to emerge.
The 25 or 26 pipevine swallowtail chrysalides in the cage should emerge in a couple of weeks, and there are undoubtedly a lot more outside on about the same time schedule. With the almost daily addition of new eggs to the vines outside, there will now be overlapping generations of pipevine swallowtails, good news.
We've had 2.20" of rain over the past two days, with more expected this weekend. I love not having to water!!


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