Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Black Swallowtail's Turn

Continuing, again, the butterfly saga that I started in the two posts immediately below, these are a sequence of pictures that I took of a Black Swallowtail emerging from its chrysalis. But first, this is how it all starts: A tiny, recently hatched Swallowtail caterpillar (the coloration will change as it gets bigger). For comparison, my finger is in the picture, and also that yellow dot to the right is an unhatched Swallowtail egg:


Much munched vegetation later, a chrysalis, and when it turns translucent the butterfly is ready to emerge. The Black Swallowtail, unlike the Monarch, is straight, not folded, in the chrysalis, and it begins to emerge by splitting at the top, after which it just marches on out:

swallowtailemerging1 swallowtailemerging2 swallowtailemerging3 swallowtailemerging4 swallowtailemerging5 swallowtailemerging6 swallowtailemerging7 swallowtailemerging8 swallowtailemerging9


It is such a treat to see these! Thanks so much for posting them. As the world up here turns frozen and cold it is nice to think that somewhere life continues.

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