A garden is the best alternative therapy.

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!

Caterpillar beginning to pupate

Caterpillar twenty-four hours later

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!

Butterfly chrysalis, May 1st, on spearmint

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Comments on: "Pupating Black Swallowtail Cat" (5)

  1. Great pics! It is so interesting to watch the metamorphosis of the cat to butterfly. It’s like a science project in the garden…but then I guess that is what gardening is about.

  2. With two strings, how beautiful they look to go through what nature has imposed on them…., changing from one to another. Great pictures.
    ~bangchik

  3. […] Pupating Black Swallowtail Cat « A Round Rock Garden – 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 … […]

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