Monday, April 20, 2015

First Black Swallowtail

The first of the Black Swallowtails I stored last autumn have finally started emerging. Just one so far, but I have a cage with somewhere close to 18 chrysalises. It's a female judging by the strong patch of blue on the wings. Males tend to have a more strongly defined row of yellow spots.

I like handling them at this stage because they're easy to pose on plants and flowers. I didn't quite do a good job here though. It's a little unrealistic that they'd be on a native plum but I suppose anything's possible.

Her wings weren't quite stiff enough to fly off so she took to being placed in the sun real well. You can get in nice and close, at least as much as my camera would allow.

I know some photographers have lenses that let you zoom in on the eyes.

More to come, though there's a possibility some might hatch out as parasitic wasps.

This year I kept them stored outside in the green house for shelter. It was left open so the temperatures didn't fool them into emerging too early as it did last year, (had them emerging in February). This year I think the timing is more correct. I'm seeing Mourning Cloaks flying about and the host plants Golden Alexander has plenty of foliage for caterpillars, (though they sure love parsley and fennel more).