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#125827 Sep 7th, 2007 at 07:53 PM
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Hi! I am somewhat still of a novice here. Today my daughter and I found a (what we think is)swallowtail butterfly caterpillar. My husband says they feed on milkweed.

My question is can we put milkweed in and among our butterfly bushes?

We would love to encourage more butterfly caterpillars in our garden. This summer we had hummingbirds eat at our butterfly bushes and the prettiest butterflies.


Carla
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The monarch butterfly caterpillar is the one that only feeds on milkweed. Yes, you can and should plant some milkweed. I would keep it in a area away from your main gardens as it can be unsightly and tends to get aphids. The world definitely needs to keep milkweed for sure.

The black swallowtail caterpillar feeds only on members of the carrot family such as dill, parsley, and Queen Anne's lace.

The larvae of the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail feed mostly on Wild Cherry and Tulip Tree.

Many butterfly larvae eat specific foods. To me, it's important for a good butterfly garden to have food for the caterpillar as well as the butterfly.



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melcon6 #126045 Sep 8th, 2007 at 06:53 AM
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I am going to take a picture of the caterpillar later today and post it. I am almost certain that it is a tiger swallowtail. The caterpillar is striped with thin stripes of white, yellow and black.


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PS, LOL - We have had all sorts of butterflies at my bushes this year


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Cool, I would love to see a picture.


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melcon6 #126312 Sep 8th, 2007 at 05:25 PM
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I regretfully have to say that I was too late. By the time I got home from my meeting it had made a pupa. I am so sorry! I was looking forward to seeing what it was.



Carla
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That's okay, if you can see the chrysalis you can still take a picture of that. That is helpful for identification also, as they make each make distinctive ones.


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melcon6 #126654 Sep 9th, 2007 at 12:53 PM
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kk


Carla
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CarlaH0318 #126933 Sep 10th, 2007 at 07:23 AM
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Is the chrysalis a pretty green with a ring of golden dots around the lower part of it? Was it on the milkweed? If so it is probably a monarch. If your daughter is really interested, you can raise a monarch butterfly. When I was teaching it was a fall science unit that the kids just loved. Find some milkweed and look for the caterpillar. It is really hard to see the eggs, but the caterpillar is easy to see and identify. It is yellow/green/black striped- not hairy at all. We would put the caterpillar in a screen topped aquarium and keep putting fresh milkweed in with it. It will eat itself huge. When it is ready it will go to the highest point usually the screen and suspend itself and go into its chrysalis. It will hang there and when it is ready to emerge as a butterfly the chrysalis will begin to become transparent and you can see the colors of the monarch. When it emerges, let it dry and it will pump its wings. We would release them out in a field in front of the school. Good luck!

debnoel #127692 Sep 11th, 2007 at 07:36 AM
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This particular chrysalis is a pale green with no dots on it and it is lying on the bottom close to a milkweed leaf. The caterpillar itself was soft with white/black/yellow thin strips.

I would take a picture of it, however, i am not sure that it would be clear in the picture. I will try today to take a picture of it. My hubby says to leave it alone in the container (a gallon size) and not to touch it. But I'll try to take a pic of it.


Carla
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