It has been fun watching the cats devour the fennel plants. After they reach a certain size, the caterpillars leave the fennel and make their way to a suitable place to begin pupating. Because I’m new to butterfly gardening, I’ve never seen a black swallowtail chrysalis before – at least, so I thought. I went out to the garden one morning before work several weeks ago, and, while checking out the herb garden, I happened to notice a black swallowtail cat on the culinary sage. I looked a little closer and saw that it had curled it’s head downwards and attached itself to the stem by two web-like strings. I watched it pupate for about a week without anything exciting to report, then one day my wife said that it looked different. She moved it a little, only to discover that it was empty! Too bad we missed it, but we were delighted in being an integral part of that caterpillar’s metamorphosis into a beautiful and beneficial butterfly!
If you’ve followed this blog for long, you may remember that I posted pictures of a moth/butterfly chrysalis a few months ago, which we discovered on the spearmint. It looked just like this, so I HAD seen a black swallowtail chrysalis before, I just didn’t know it!