Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Black Caterpillars, part 2

Our black caterpillars have turned into chrysalises!  

They ate up the fennel and we worried about what to feed them next.  Turns out they like stuff in the carrot/parsley family and we have loads of queen anne's lace.   It took a few hours of adjustment, but the caterpillars transitioned just fine and ate themselves huge.

Then, one morning, we saw one, then another find a quiet place in the jar and start spinning an anchor line from its head to the jar [or stem] upon which it was clinging.  

Black Swallowtail butterflies metamorphose upside right.   Monarchs hang upside down and metamorphose.  It was cool to see the difference.  

Here is #1, who found a place to anchor on the side of the jar. 

And #2.  

A couple days later, this is what we have:

#1.... Notice the split skin hanging just below him.  And if you look really closely, you can see all the fine threads anchoring him to the jar.

And here's #2.

They'll sit for about 2 weeks, then emerge.   

Since two of them are clinging to fresh greens, we're going to clip their part of the stem off and glue it to a stick. 

Note:   These guys are green because they're clinging to green stuff.   If they had chosen a stick, they'd have turned brown.  Camouflage is cool.  

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