Sunday, August 12, 2012

Black Swallowtail Butterfly Metamorphosis

I would like to step back to share a Black Swallowtail Butterfly Papilio polyxenes, who was my studio mate for part of this May. It was a marvelous metamorphosis to observe. 

A striking male Black Swallowtail . . . the first of its kind to emerge in my barn studio last year.

I was lucky early May to see this female attaching an egg to a Bishop's weed leaf along the garden path. She may well have overwintered here in her pupa state.

After she flies away I discover this egg!

Enjoying her first meal.

Second or third instar.

Final caterpillar molt.

Releasing a perfect female . . . perhaps she will meet up with the male (below) out in the gardens enjoying the milkweed. This is only the second Black Swallowtail I have had the privilege to raise.

If you would like to learn more about the life cycle of the Black Swallowtail check out my article over at 

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