Monday, May 13, 2013

From The Little Yellow Eggs...

From the little yellow Black Swallowtail eggs come the tiny Black Swallowtail caterpillars (1st Instar). To the naked eye they look pretty much just black with a vague white band around the middle. But close up with the camera theres some orange and an interesting variety of lumps, bumps and spines.

But then they are only around 4 mm at this stage. A couple of days and a molt later they look like this and have doubled in size.
And soon they will be all change again. Currently there around 30 on the 2 pots of fennel, dill and parsley.
Thats enough herbs to hold this first group at least. Good through  July I'd expect; thats the usual pattern. Oddly enough, though there are two sets of caterpillars on the plants I havent seen a Black Swallowtail in the yard yet myself.

I have seen the Eastern Comma  (Polygonia comma)

And the Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos) which has a very attractive underwing as seen here.
And finally for today, also on the wing but much larger, is the Red Winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus ). One of our most abundant and noisiest residents they spend most of the day perched in the cattails yelling at one another or harrassing me as I wander around the pond in search of the smaller and quieter inhabitants.


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