Friday, 4 August 2017

Black Swallowtails

Black swallowtail chrysalis
Last Fall, during our carrot harvest, our ladies found a caterpillar amongst the carrot tops.  Someone brought it to our house.  Shortly after, my sister Shirley worked in her herb garden and found another one crawling on her dill plant.  We brought them to school where they soon created their crysalids for the winter.
Over the years we've raised countless monarch caterpillars, but this was our first for this type of caterpillar.  Upon doing a bit of research, I discovered that swallowtails lay their eggs on carrot, dill, parsley and fennel plants.
Now, what to do with swallowtail chrysalids during winter? I learned quite a bit from  Joyful Butterfly.  We placed ours chrsalids in a plastic jar and stored in in the fridge  until the apple trees and lilac bushes started blooming the following spring.

Newly hatched butterfly

I was surprised that it would take two weeks from the time they were placed in room temperature to turn from pupa to butterfly!
Wings dried and expanded

 Oh the excitement we had when we came to school that Monday morning to discover a special springtime surprise!!
Being passed from hand to hand

Feeding on lilac nectar before taking flight!

Aren't those hands-on life science projects just the best?!


  1. Been wondering how it turned out, Elma! I found two this year in the dill patch. Took them home and both escaped on me! Maybe i'll find the cocoons while doing the annual fall cleaning.:)

  2. Replies
    1. yup :) Didn't realize that I
      didn't identify myself