Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Flower Hill Farm BUTTERFLIES OF 2011 ~ Favorite Eastern Black Swallowtail

Eyeing female depositing an egg on hidden Wild Carrot

A lucky sighting! A female  Black Swallowtail, Papilio polyxenes (Fabricius), 1775 deposits an egg. 

1st and 2nd Instar

3rd Instar

4th Instar

5th Instar

Spinning thread and Letting Go!

Talk about a weight loss that many would envy . . . the Black Swallowtail evacuates its entire digestive system before becoming a chrysalis. Note how much smaller it is in the shots above . . . when comparing to the photographs of the caterpillar eating above it. 

Black Swallowtail Chrysalis cozy within a Monarch Community

SURPRISE! I thought this little creature would over-winter. 

What a joy it was to raise my very first  Black Swallowtail.

An added Joy to share it with you all again in a different way. 

This is a series of looking back over my favorite butterfly photographs of 2011. 

If you grow or live near any plants in the carrot family (Umbelliferae) you may find the eggs or caterpillars of the Black Swallowtail and learn more about these creatures by raising them yourselves. Of course, it is always better to observe them in their natural habitat. I confess I do feel guilty taking them from the fields or gardens but try to recreate their environment as close as possible.

Something Wild for Gail over at Clay and Limestone  . . . be sure to visit her gardens and see other wildflowers from around the country.

Metamorphosis is the perfect word for me this week Katarina! Skip over to Sweden for Blooming Friday

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