Sunday, October 25, 2009


At the end of September, I noticed some large banded and spotted caterpillars finishing off the last of the parsley in the garden.

There were about five caterpillars.

They crawled up and down the stems denuding the plants of any leaves. When the y got the end of a stalk they would get confused and then turn around and start down again.

I thought that these might be Monarch Butterfly caterpillars, but a search at this site revealed that these are likely to be the second instar or moult of the caterpillar stage of Black Swallowtail caterpillars. The pictures match and the wikipedia article (Black Swallowtail, Papilio polyxenes) even mentions that they like to eat plants from the carrot family like dill and parsley.

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