Thursday, May 30, 2013

Pipevine eggs!

Yesterday afternoon, I was in the Meadow, helping James with his newest project (stay tuned). In between assisting, I pulled snailseed vine (lots of it) and other weedy stuff that's overrunning the rocked-in bed that encloses several live oaks. While I was working, a pipevine swallowtail fluttered past and landed near one of the three non-native pipevines (Aristolochia fimbriata) that we planted. She touched on a henbit, then a dayflower, then a pipevine leaf. Over and over again she landed and touched, landed and touched on plants. Nothing seemed to meet her approval. I stopped pulling and watched until finally she found a pipevine stem near me that she liked. Bent at my waist, head upside down, I kept watching while she deposited seven orangish eggs. I was thrilled!

"Hey, do the boys want to see some butterfly eggs that were just laid?" I hollered across the street at my neighbors. They were sitting on their front deck with their two grandsons. "I just saw them being laid!" 

In a flash, Caleb and Clayton dashed over and crouched down next to me. I showed them the new eggs and explained how pipevine swallowtail butterflies ALWAYS lay their eggs on pipevine leaves. Then I showed them a little pipevine caterpillar that I'd spotted. 

"Would you like to come back when the caterpillars get bigger? They're REALLY cute!" The boys nodded and smiled. "OK, I'll let your grandmother know." 

The little info that I found on incubation says the eggs take 10 days to hatch. Let the countdown begin!


Steph@RamblingWren said...

Congrats! I have a white veined pipevine that I planted this year. I see the pipevine Swallowtail all the time fluttering around the garden, but no eggs yet. I'm hoping I will get some eggs when the plant gets bigger. The blooms are pretty interesting though;)

Sheryl Smith-Rodgers said...

Hey, I think that's the same species we have, which is Aristolochia fimbriata. See

Once the caterpillars appear, watch out! They'll wipe out the entire plant. It doesn't kill the vine, but the caterpillars run out of food. We now have three pipevines.

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