Saturday 9 February 2019

My Swallowtail Butterfly – Caterpillar to Pupa

Finally I have put together the video from last August, when I found my Swallowtail butterfly caterpillar. Enjoy...

Tuesday 14 August 2018

A sneak peek at my Swallowtail Butterfly caterpillar...

I will post the full story soon, but here is a sneak peek at this stunning creature.

The caterpillar is producing silk from glands near its mouth and weaving it across the glass where it wants to walk. You can see its tiny feet gripping on to the webbing...

Fascinating stuff!!

I taken have lots of photos and video of this gorgeous caterpillar over the past week or so and I will be posting them soon.

Thursday 9 August 2018

Swallowtail - Day 4

Look how she has grown and changed already! She is loving the fennel flowers.

Wednesday 8 August 2018

Swallowtail - Day 3

The caterpillarium is a little full at the moment with all the peacock caterpillars I rescued so I had to think where "she" (I've decided!) could live.

I found a huge glass jar and placed her fennel inside, then I unpicked an organza jewelry bag and placed that over the neck of the jar, securing it with an elastic band. Easy to clean too!!

Monday 6 August 2018

Swallowtail caterpillar - I can't believe it !!!!!!

I have been wanting to find a swallowtail caterpillar since I first started rearing butterflies. I have never seen a swallowtail butterfly, but knew they existed in the area. So, very unlikely, but possible, was my thinking!. I've been growing fennel just in case I ever found any as I know it is a favourite food.

Back story to the following post:

I am lucky enough now to be the proud owner of a fantastic camera. I have always enjoyed taking photos and movie, but with a doggie in tow for the last (nearly) 8 years I could never have anything too precious as I was always being pulled from pillar to post (and loved it!). Now unfortunately I don't have my gorgeous hound anymore, so there has been a change of priority and I treated myself!!

So a soon after my new purchase we decided to go to a local gardens and it was there I spotted a tiny, baby caterpillar. I had no idea it was there when I took this photo:

Circled in red 
Even when I decided to "rescue" it I wasn't sure what it was, I'd never seen a swallowtail caterpillar in it's 4th instar before, only ever fully grown ones!  I knew I had my fennel in the garden, so was fairly sure whatever it was it would survive! (I know the plant it's on isn't fennel, but it is the same family.)

The poor creature traveled home in a make shift carry case, with food of course:

Look how tiny it is, only about a centimeter!

I looked at so many caterpillar photos and butterfly websites that evening that by the time I went to bed I was convinced I had a swallowtail and was completely blown away!!

Day 10: Webbed Feet...

I couldn't believe what showed up inside the caterpillarium under the photography lights! So much webbing, everywhere! The caterpillars use it as a kind of transport system, a video will follow soon, but this photo of cute feet will have to do for now...

Just incredible, you cannot see any of this in normal daylight!

Sunday 5 August 2018

They are all Peacock Caterpillars

The two nests I found down the road last Saturday are both Peacocks! They are huge now..