It's the first day of spring (03/20/2013) and appropriately enough the first of the Black Swallowtails has emerged from their chrysalis. The generation that over-winters tends to be smaller than usual, I suspect because more of the energy goes towards sustaining the adult through the winter. This one is a good inch or two smaller than they are typically over the summer, even for a male.
|Black Swallowtail - Winter/Spring|
|Black Swallowtail - Summer|
Needless to say it's still cold here and I'm keeping them inside. I'm told they can be sustained for about 6 weeks indoors when fed sugar water. My friend tells me she hears anywhere from 1:3 to 1:10 ratio sugar to water.... which isn't helpful so I'm trying 1:4 and will be providing them a source of salt in a day or so.
I have parsley growing now but perhaps most interesting of all is that they occasionally use Citrus as a host plant... and I just bought a Mayar Lemon and Key Lime tree in the basement. The parsley in the garden had green growth all winter, and the Golden Alexander has pushed out several inches of growth since January ended. So even with all the cold, I have plenty of options.