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Pipevine Swallowtails at last!

Posted by jrcagle z7 MD (My Page) on
Thu, Aug 4, 11 at 20:16

Rod Angeroth's Virginia Snakeroot paid off. On July 12 I found about 25 caterpillars on A. serpentaria -- the poor plant was practically stripped -- and two more each on other pipevines.

Pipevine Swallowtail Battus philenor caterpillar

They all came inside and got switched over to A. macrophylla (sorry little guys -- you really put the "macro" in "macrophylla").

We went on vacation on the 20th and I had to turn the whole herd loose ... but there were yet more tiny caterpillars on the macrophylla. Upon return 7/31, I found 5 caterpillars on the macrophylla, no doubt survivors from the small cats of the 20th. AND, there was lots of cat frass and leaf damage.

So very exciting! PVSs have been on my wish list for quite some time.

The original A. serpentaria is just starting to put leaves back on.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Pipevine Swallowtails at last!

Congrats, Jeff for getting my favorite butterfly! The caterpillars are so different from other lethargic swallowtail cats!
I've found 5 egg clusters yesterday and today, so I'm in the PVS business again myself -
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RE: Pipevine Swallowtails at last!

Five clusters! My, my. I've heard of their reputation for voracity -- but I've been wondering whether the real truth is that there are so darn many of them all together.


RE: Pipevine Swallowtails at last!

Congrats, Jeff! Once they find you, they'll keep coming back and back and back . . . I had 5 females laying eggs yesterday on the clematitis. The serpentaria hasn't had a chance to leaf out again. But, serpentaria is the first plant that the PVSs seek out here. Hope you have lots of macrophylla. Tomentosa is the staple here in Oklahoma.


RE: Pipevine Swallowtails at last!

Congratulations, Jeff! They're my favorite cat to raise. They're so comical and I love to hear them eat. I waited several years before I got some PVST here, but I was glad that they waited awhile because I would never have had enough pipevine the first couple years to feed very many cats. Last year after I released them, they mated and laid eggs for yet another generation here, but this year after I raised them and released them, those ingrates left never to be seen again. Ha. I think I'm happy with one "brood" a year though. Even though I have a lot of pipevine, 200+ cats last year put a pretty big dent in it!

RE: Pipevine Swallowtails at last!

Yea! I don't have any this year :(. After a couple years of having them. However, it is just a lousy year here for some things. Other things are doing well though.
Post more pictures for us soon.

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