Saturday, August 8, 2015

Future Butterflies...

Look at this little critter!

He is eating our dill (what there is left of this particular planting) ~

but I don't mind sharing with him.

When I was small and saw these in my grandparents' garden

(eating their dill, of course),

I thought they were Monarch caterpillars ~ had "misremembered" them as such ~

then, when I learned that Monarch caterpillars feed exclusively on milkweed,

I wasn't sure what they were (because I distinctly remembered the dill)...

~

 Just this past week I had discussed the caterpillars with my Facebook friend, Sue,

who definitely does her part in Monarch conservation, planting milkweed and

raising the larvae, saving them from predation until they can form their chrysalises.

(More on helping the Monarch butterfly here.)

~
 photo aug7-3_zps6ifpvmzz.jpg
~

So, what is he?

~
 photo aug7-1_zpsjfdmfh5n.jpg
~
 photo aug7-5_zps0rsfbgam.jpg
~
 photo aug7-6_zpsacj1kwcd.jpg
~

He is an Eastern Black Tiger Swallowtail caterpillar...

here is another article that I found fascinating,

on Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens site.

~
 photo aug7-4_zpsdz8o7mku.jpg
~

I know not everyone does, but I find all of God's little creatures absolutely

fascinating, not "creepy crawly"!

(With the exception of brown recluses, Satan's Spawn... ;) )

That's it!

I'm off to see what else I can find to photograph,

 and maybe even get some painting in today, too!

Have a wonderful weekend!

(Linking with Beverly's Pink Saturday, today!)
~
Photobucket
~

ADDENDUM!

 Well, you are never too old to learn something new!

 I was going back through my links, and read the one from Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens

 more closely...then went back out to look at our dill ~ it seems that caterpillars don't just

get "bigger" after hatching, but instead have to molt as they grow (I knew this about some other 

insects and spiders). Each time they molt, it's called an "instar", and they may change

their looks (their "outfits"!) with each instar, going through several molts before reaching 

their maximum size... Here I have always considered myself a "buggy" person

 but I don't recall ever hearing the term...

So, of course I took more photos!

~
 photo Aug7-13_zpsiwjsgal7.jpg
~

Three "instar" stages of Eastern Black Tiger Swallowtail caterpillars.

~
 photo aug7-8_zpsk2pvmmyh.jpg
~
 photo aug26-6_zpsz7mdnuyv.jpg
~

 Here's a closeup of the smallest one; "first (I'm guessing) instar".

~
 photo aug7-7_zpsqoqf6z3o.jpg
~

This fellow is about two-thirds the size of the largest one...

(who has some growing to do himself, being only about an inch long at this point).

~
 photo aug7-11IG_zpssl7v8njq.jpg
~
 photo aug7-14_zpsmwo9bfzq.jpg
~

Not the best photo, as the butterfly just wouldn't cooperate...

but I believe she was attempting to lay more eggs...

To be continued!

~

12 comments:

  1. Wow! Your photos are stunning. Please come share with us for "anything goes" Pink Saturday.♥

    ReplyDelete
  2. Beautiful..Love the colors..Enjoy your weekend..

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love butterflies too! Loved all your photos. They are beautiful. My daughter and I just raised 2 beautiful Monarch butterflies and released them and now we are waiting for an egg to hatch that we saw the mama Monarch lay right in front of us.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Love to see those caterpillars. I haven't seen too many butterflies this year. Thanks for all the information.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I enjoyed this post from start to finish!! I'm trying to do my part for "butterfly conservation" too, and am glad that it's starting to catch on! We see so few Monarch's and I'm always thrilled to even see one! I planted milkweed last year, and it's not done so well, but I'll keep trying.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great photography Anne. I'm trying to do my part to attract the Monarch Butterflies and left a big patch for milkweeds in the back garden but I haven't seen any Monarch Butterflies this year. This is our second year of leaving some milkweeds for them.
    Have a great Sunday.
    Hugs,
    JB

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great photography Anne. I'm trying to do my part to attract the Monarch Butterflies and left a big patch for milkweeds in the back garden but I haven't seen any Monarch Butterflies this year. This is our second year of leaving some milkweeds for them.
    Have a great Sunday.
    Hugs,
    JB

    ReplyDelete
  8. Like you, I learn something everyday! I never knew this Anne, thank-you for the lesson! I'll have to go out and see if I can spot some of these, I always thought since they looked so much alike, they were Viceroy caterpillars! I look forward to more pictures!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Amazing, photos, Anne. I've not had many butterflies this year, and haven't seen any Monarchs. I need to remember to plant some milkweed.
    Thanks for sharing your stellar photos and the interesting facts. I'll be back for the next edition. '-)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I enjoyed your post so much. It brought me back in time to when my daughter was five or six. We raised these in our home so we could study the changes. We were lucky enough to see them when they transformed into chrysalises - an amazing sight. We released them back into the dill field we found them in. I figured we helped them avoid being eaten by a bird or other creature.

    Your photos are gorgeous. Thanks for such warm memories and beautiful photos to start my day.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Dear Anne-I am so glad you shared this information. I too have one of these little fellas on my dill too. Now I will watch him change into a lovely butterfly. As always I so enjoyed my visit. Hugs!

    ReplyDelete

I love your thoughts and comments, and I read each and every one! Sometimes life gets in the way, though, and it takes me a while to respond...Thank you for understanding! ♥...Time is precious, and the time you've taken here is truly appreciated!