Subject: Black Swallowtail cats – 3 different instars
Location: Naperville, IL
June 28, 2012 12:20 am
My daughter found 5 Black Swallowtail caterpillars (Papilio polyxenes) this morning on some potted curly-leaf parsley. I do believe there are three of the five instars represented: 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, judging by their sizes (approx. 1/4”, 1/2”, 3/4”)and by the photos from bugguide of the various instars. They appear to change dramatically from one stage to the next, unlike my Monarchs, which vary mostly by size. I can’t find much info on the duration of the swallowtail life cycle. In the heat we’re having, my Monarch go from new pupa to butterfly in under a week. All the best to you.
Signature: -Dori Eldridge
Thanks to your excellent documentation, our readers can see how the Black Swallowtail Caterpillars transform and change appearance as they grow.
Your photos are so wonderful we are posting them all.