Thursday, September 3, 2015

Papilio Polyxenes Astrius

Papilio  polyxenes asterius, Eastern Black Swallowtail Butterfly Caterpillar, Pittsburgh, 2015

While working in the garden yesterday, I discovered several caterpillars eating the carrot greens.  After a bit of googling, I learned that this is a preferred food for the mature larvae of the Eastern Black Swallowtail Butterfly.  Since I admire the beauty of that butterfly, I snipped off the greens and left them in the garden when I pulled the carrots out (they will be part of this evening's supper).
I hope to see them fluttering around the yard next summer, even if it means that the carrot greens have to feed the next generation.


Minnesotastan said...

Congratulations on finding the swallowtail caterpillar. These are quite easy to raise indoors and are fascinating to watch as they transform into butterflies -

Children are particularly awed by the process (as well as most adults). If you do feed them indoors, use your own carrots (or dill/celery/parsley) or purchase organic varieties, because some store-bought produce has been treated on the farm with pesticides.

jennifer from pittsburgh said...

Thanks for the tips! I have parsley and celery still growing, so I think I might try to keep one indoors.