Is on the onion chives surrounded by fern leaf dill raining now. know its blurred but colors are so definite. Afraid it may be a puss moth. any experts out there?
It's an Eastern Black Swallowtail. One of their host plants is dill.
Will fwd this to my dau- she says theyre everywhere. I was hoping it would be butterfly!
O nice photos Sheila! It's been awhile since i've had some black swallowtails (that survived) and i forgot about how the caterpillars look during the early instars. People not initiated might not realize that these are the same caterpillar because they do look so different. Your photos illustrate this very nicely. Enjoy Kittriana, if this is your first experience with black swallowtails, you are in for a treat!
My dau hasnt sent better pics and she was wondering abt the white strip on it. I guess when shes home again I will get more pics, chuckl. Now I know why my fern leaf dill never has leaves- just tonz of seeds! Thanx guys
The colors and design of the early instars of this caterpillar are made to look like a bird dropping and that is the reason for the white stripe. The coloring and the fact that the little caterpillar looks like a bird dropping is a form of protection from predators. :-D
Cool. gonna have to research this butterfly, i wasnt aware it had other forms til You Guys gave me a thump on the noggin ! I appreciate it!
I love these caterpillars...they are so adorable! Do you know about the osmeterium? That is the orange gland sticking out of the top of its head which is used to ward off enemies or other bothersome pests like people :-D It's a way of saying "hey, take it easy there and don't even think about eating me". When it relaxes a bit the osmeterium will recede back into its head. I think all of the swallowtails have osmeteriae. If i accidently hit them with the hose while watering, all those fleshy orange/red/yellow glands pop up showing their disapproval.
Right now i have Polydamas swallowtail caterpillars on the Aristolochia vines, some eggs, some caterpillars, some pupas, and some chrysalises. The first butterfly came out this morning while i was planting some dill for the next time the Black swallowtails come to town. I'll be ready with dill, fennel, and rue.
Great that you are allowing the BST to reside on your dill Kittrina! They are beautiful butterflies.
Stephanie, the ones you gave me to raise are almost all emerged now. I did have one mishap yesterday. I had been busy the evening before and didn't see that two had emerged, so I placed them on the deck baskets on a couple of blooms so they could get the morning sun and warm up early yesterday morning. Bad idea, I guess I have a resident lizard near there, or birds got one and left the wings. I will leave them caged next time.
Yeah, my lizards appear to have been growing REALLY large, sigh. These cats have a chunk of parsley as well as the dill just for them. My dill appears to be a rug tho... and the curley leaf parsley has carrot roots 2" wide. We have to get these things organized so they dont get soaped with spray like the tomato...I have been looking for a pic of a buttrrfly I see and cant id - black with lower wings an iridescent purple blue. havent seen it yet this year.
Try searching for a Pipevine Swallowtail; they fit your description.