Swallowtails are famous for wandering far from the host plant and taking their time to emerge from the chrysalis at unpredictable times. Monarch caterpillars are generally reliable in taking 10-14 days to eclose, or make the transition from chrysalis to butterfly.
To check that a chrysalis is hibernating and not a dead one, you can look at the color. Dead pupae will have a sickly black or dark brown color. Black swallowtail chrysalises maybe a brown color already, but ones that have perished are darker and could be giving off a smell.
When it is ready, (about 24 hours after attaching) it will wriggle its outer skin off exposing the chrysalis beneath. The chrysalis will either be green or brown depending on the color of the surrounding area. In 1-2 weeks the butterfly will emerge.
Food sources (or host plants) for Black Swallowtail larva or caterpillars: parsley, dill and carrot tops (Other larva food sources include Queen Anne’s Lace, Fennel and Turnips.)
The black swallowtail is found throughout southern Canada, most of the eastern and mid-western United States west to the Rocky Mountains, and southwest into Arizona and northern Mexico. It is rare in the Florida Keys, apparently due to the absence of its carrot family (Apiaceae) hosts (Minno & Emmel 1993).
Provide plenty of food to help your caterpillar grow and develop. Feed Queen Anne’s lace, parsley and fennel. Keep plant leaves in water to prevent them from drying out. As your caterpillar grows offer fresh leaves three or four times per day.
A cocoon from which a butterfly is about to emerge will either turn very dark or become clear. Overly dark cocoons, though, may point to death. Gently bend the abdominal region of the cocoon. If the cocoon bends and stays bent, the caterpillar is probably dead.
When the caterpillar finds a good spot, it will hang in a “J” formation until it is ready to create its chrysalis. The caterpillar may hang like this for days before it actually pupates, but once it begins pupating, the process only takes a few minutes.
While adult birds can live well on seeds and berries, nestlings are unable to digest these yet and require juicy caterpillars to help them grow.
Caterpillars do not need extra water. They get all the water they need from eating their host plants. Many caterpillars have a tendency to wander right before they pupate. … An open environment is good if you only have a few caterpillars.
The answers are yes, you may relocate the creatures once they make their chrysalis, and no, the caterpillars do not need to chrysalis on milkweed. In fact, Monarch and other chrysalises often are found as far as 30 feet from the hostplant where they ate their last meal.
Anal prolapse may happen naturally. It can also be caused by exposure to some pesticides. The digestive tract begins to come out of the caterpillar’s anus. When this happens, the caterpillar will die.
The male black swallowtail has more noticable yellow and less blue on the wings. The female black swallowtail has more blue and less yellow on the wings. red eyespot (red circle with a black bulls-eye) near the margin of each hind wing.
Overwintering Black, Giant, & Tiger Swallowtails. Some butterflies, like monarchs, migrate to warmer regions for the winter, while others are left behind to brave the winter weather in various stages of the butterfly life cycle.
Black swallowtails are not really harmful as adults but they don’t directly benefit any garden plants either. Their young are considered pests in large numbers, but the average hatch doesn’t kill carrot plants, just defoliates them.