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!!

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