Monday, June 21, 2010

Black swallowtail kiddos

Meet my cute caterpillar children in the fennel, black swallowtail larvae. I did have three, but when I went outside last evening to take photos, I found only two. Sniff.

While shooting, I watched one munch munch munch. So I shot a series of pictures as it quickly devoured a fennel leaf. Reminded me of someone slurping up a strand of spaghetti!

I nudged it in hopes of getting a photo of its smelly osmeterium but no luck. According to Texas A&M's online field guide, the orangey V-shaped structure, which appears and disappears, emits a "strong odor that is apparently distasteful to predators." Well, I can vouch for the smelly part! I had no idea about that structure thing when I touched a caterpillar the other day, the V shot out, and I smelled something yucky. Cool!

Anyway, here's the spaghetti-eating series:


Debi said...

Love the series, cute!

Carolyn ♥ said...

Oh that was co-o-o cool!
Love your post!

Kay Baughman said...

I love your series of black swallowtail photos! I know the feeling when a caterpillar disappears--but maye its just hiding. Our yard is also a TX wildscape, certified about ten years ago.
I enjoy your blog. I just stumbled on it--and will return!

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