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Monday, September 7, 2015

A butterfly is born!

An eastern black swallowtail butterfly, Papilio polyxenes asterius, has emerged on my potted parsley! This summer has been very encouraging. Apparently if you plant what native insects want, they'll come.

     I planted some parsley in the vegetable garden and some in a big pot on the deck, hoping to create reproductive space for this butterfly, as well to harvest some garnish. I noticed the mature larva, a large, elegant caterpillar, two week ago.

It transformed into a pupa soon afterward.
When I got back from vacation, it had hatched.

I saw what could have been the hatchling flying around the garden today. It declined to stay still long enough to have its picture taken, but here's a file photo showing what it looked like:
Adult female eastern black swallowtail, Papilio polyxenes asterius (Stoll), with wings closed.
Adult female. Photograph by Donald Hall, University of Florida.

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