Sunday, November 4, 2018

Once upon a caterpillar

Last Thursday, my friend Shena and I took a long walk. Along the way, I happened to look down and see a small pipevine swallowtail (Battus philenor) caterpillar, scooting along the asphalt. Since I didn't know where there was any native pipevines growing, I scooped up the youngster and took it home. Now maybe this caterpillar would have eventually found something to eat, but I didn't have the heart to leave it on the bare pavement.

I may get fussed at, but I took the caterpillar home because we grow pipevines in our Wildscape. Gently, I put it on a Aristolochia fimbriata leaf, and it began to eat. Caveat: That pipevine species isn't native. So I kept an eye on my young friend, and it soon stopped eating. The next day or two, it still wasn't eating. I felt terrible.
Yesterday afternoon, I relocated the caterpillar to our swanflower (Aristolochia erecta), which is a native pipevine species. I was VERY happy when I finally saw it begin to eat. This afternoon, it was eating some more. I'm definitely feeling better. I hope my little caterpillar friend is, too!
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 UPDATE November 7, 2018
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UPDATE November 11, 2018

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SAD ENDING November 18, 2018

 Two hard freezes hit last week while were out of town, and my little friend froze to death. I'm so sad.

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