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Cat ID please...

Posted by rsingley z6a NJ (My Page) on
Sun, Sep 12, 10 at 18:34

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

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Cat ID please...

It's probably a black swallowtail.

RE: Cat ID please...

An early instar black swallowtail for sure.

RE: Cat ID please...

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?

RE: Cat ID please...

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.

RE: Cat ID please...

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

RE: Cat ID please...

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!


RE: Cat ID please...

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.

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