7.29.2009

Dill Worms Revisited

Black swallowtail chrysalises can be quite hard to see, even when you are staring right at them. I knew my "dill worms" were about ready to pupate when I photographed them the other day - they were all nice and fat - so recently I went in search of a chrysalis. Luck was with me and I found two that were about eight feet away from where I had seen the caterpillars feeding. Hopefully the squadron of turkeys that visited the yard this morning didn't find them, too!

 
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8 comments:

Woodswalker said...

Hard to see, indeed! I looked and looked at that first photo until at last -- aha! Do the caterpillars wrap leaves around themselves, or do they create their own wrappings to perfectly mimic leaves?

Floridacracker said...

Neat! Dill worms, I never heard them called that.

swamp4me said...

Woodswalker,
Butterfly caterpillars don't use leaves - at least none of the ones I am familiar with do. And black swallowtail cats do seem to mimic the colors of their surroundings. I am monitoring one chrysalis that formed on a bronze fennel plant. That one is all tans and grays.

FC,
I hadn't heard them called that until recently. Other names I've heard include parsley worm and carrot worm. Fennel worm could be another!

Ellen Rathbone said...

Man, you really need to know what you are looking for to see these!

swamp4me said...

Hey Ellen! How's the vacation going? And yes, they are quite a challenge to find -- I had seen this one a couple of days prior and had a heck of a time relocating it to take a photo.

Rurality said...

Wow, I didn't even realize it was there til the last pic. :)

Garden Lily said...

Wow, really nicely camouflaged.

swamp4me said...

garden lily,
They seem to have the ability to mimic the color of the surrounding area. Pretty cool.