Watching the Anise Swallow Tails

I got a few great shots of some Anise Swallowtail caterpillars on our Fennel plant last weekend. We occasionally get some Black Swallowtail Butterfly caterpillars too.  One of the many things we do for the butterfly and hence the caterpillars, is to let the Fennel grow (because once you’ve planned fennel you’ll always get fennel) It’s so nice to have a place in our garden that we get to see the caterpillars and then the butterflies. It’s also a great process to watch and see the stages, as each stage of development of the caterpillar (small, medium and large) are all different colors.  Until it finally makes a cocoon around itself and you wait for a butterfly to come out. We have been lucky enough in the past to be there when the butterfly emerges and watch it as it dry’s it’s wings off and then fly’s away.

To attract the Anis Swallowtail butterflies it just takes growing anything in “The Apiaceae or Umbelliferae, commonly known as the celery, carrot or parsley family, are a family of mostly aromatic plants with hollow stems” (from Wikipedia). If you see any caterpillars that look like these photo’s you might want to consider letting them be and eating their fill, after all they won’t do enough damage to effect your plant and you’ll get a beautiful butterfly in the end!

Another thing you can do to help the butterflies is have a shallow dish of water with some rocks on the bottom.  I put some heart shaped marbles at the bottom of mine (see photo at the bottom), so they can land on them and drink without drowning.

2 3 4 5 6 Insect Water

Categories: Good Insects

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