Berkeley's Anise Swallowtail Caterpillars and Butterflies

Kathy and I started raising anise swallowtail caterpillars a few summers ago. Not on purpose, really. I made the mistake of rescuing one from some fennel that I had cut in the back yard, and decided to bring the caterpillar and some fennel inside so that I could watch it for a while. Well, before long I had brought in 2 or 3 more, then 20 or so. Watching these caterpillars eat (and eat and eat and eat), crawl, wave themselves around, and, especially, change their coats and finally their entire bodies is, surprisingly, very relaxing and satisfying.

The condo, nursery, bassinet, and pupa pad...

Tools...

Time for chow...

Beware store-bought food!

The preferred foods...

Convergence...

Newborn...

Reasoning with a youngster...

Pumpkerpillars...

Twins...

A tiny wasp larva intervenes...

Don't toss out that drowned cat!

Silk...

Frass...

Something there is in a fennel plant that loves a caterpillar egg...

Cats can be a handful...

Applying low voltage...

Time to roam...

Contortion...

It's pupating where??

No harness? Stop worrying...

What is that weird thing?!

Dunno--that pupa looks sort of dead...

Emergence...

The butterfly...

Girl or Boy?

The fabulous flying machine...

Full Span...

The antennae...

The proboscis...

Close-up

Home-feeding a butterfly...

Timeline...

Comments, Questions, Corrections 

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