Steve's Digicams Forums

Steve's Digicams Forums (
-   Panasonic / Leica (
-   -   Beautiful Coloured Caterpillar (

Macnite Jul 28, 2006 8:16 AM

1 Attachment(s)
I was checking out my vegetable gardenlast nightand noticed this colourful caterpillar on a fennel stack! Does anyone knows what kind is it? Could it be from the Monarch butterfly.

I've also noticed that after resizing for postingthe sharpness and quality of the picture deteriorated.

Comments and help appreciated.

Macnite Jul 28, 2006 8:17 AM

1 Attachment(s)

The face!

d-sr Jul 28, 2006 8:48 AM

Very nice shots! I think it is a black swallowtail. I'm pretty sure the monarch caterpillar has someorange in the banding on it's sides. Keep on posting, we enjoy looking.


Raghu Jul 28, 2006 11:13 AM

Beautiful indeed! You could name it Tiger. Good shots.

Macnite Jul 28, 2006 12:05 PM

Don and Raghu, thanks for looking and commenting.

bayourebel Jul 28, 2006 2:09 PM

Very unusual looking. tiger seems like a good name.

Macnite Jul 28, 2006 2:54 PM

Thank you for looking and commenting Bayourebel. I've seen the caterpillars before but I don't know the butterfly.

kano79 Jul 31, 2006 1:32 PM

Very nice detail. Love the colors...

Macnite Jul 31, 2006 2:26 PM

Thanks for the comments Kano!

gotta.learn Aug 1, 2006 12:22 AM

Hi Macnite,

I love your picture of the caterpillar. d-sr is right, it is a Black Swallowtail. I looked it up just to be sure and found this site. Thanks d-sr. :)

I love butterflies and raising them from larva. My mom and I use to do it all the time and watch them fly away. Then of course I did the same with my children. Good memories. This is one caterpillar I don't remember raising, so it's nice to see what it looks like and what it will turn into.

Thanks so much for sharing Macnite,

Teree :)

Macnite Aug 1, 2006 7:37 AM

Hi Teree,

Thank you for viewing and commenting! It is the second year that I grow fennel in my garden and noticed the caterpillars. There are 4-5 of them on my fennel plant. I would love to see them turn into butterflies!

You mentioned that you've raised butterflies, where did you get the eggs. Once you get the eggs, what isneed to raise them!I'd appreciate your response.

gotta.learn Aug 1, 2006 7:19 PM

Hi MacNite,

I would be happy to share what we did. :-)


The caterpillars we raised were from our yard. As soon as we found one on a plant, we took it to raise. Daily we fed it fresh leaves only from the plant which that caterpiller was already feeding on (any other leaf would not do since the caterpillar will only eat the leaves of the kind of plant it's egg was placed on). Sometimes I would lightly run a little water over the leaves to provide tiny water droplets for the caterpillar to drink. They do drink them too. :-)

Living Quarters:

We kept the caterpillar in a large roomy jar covered with a lid with lots of little holes punched through. Usually it was just aluminium foil placed over the top and held on with a rubber band (it's alot easier to punch holes through aluminium foil :-)). A little square of nylon screen held on with a rubber band will work too. To clean it from time to time, we just pulled the little caterpillar out of his jar, then dumped out all the droppings and dead leaves, then placed him back into his lilttle abode with new leaves to munch.


We would provide a nice stick or two for the caterpillar to climb on and eventually hang from when going into pupa & chrysalis stage. Once they reached this stage we left him be to do what ever caterpillars do when changing into the marvelous creatures they become.

The big day:

We waited patientlyfor the miracle to occur. Once the butterfly emerged from the chrysalis, we waited for the new butterfly to stretch it's wings and dry. Finally, we set it free and watched it flutter away.

Places to order butterly larva:

There are websites on line you can look up to order butterfly larva. Some sites even offer little containers to keep them in while raising them. I can't really recommend any one supplierover another as I have never ordered from these companies but do know of some people who have successfully done so. Just make sure you have a plant available that have the leaves your caterpillar eats and you should be set to go.

Good luck and thank you for giving me an opportunity to relive a pleasant time in my life.

Teree :)

Macnite Aug 2, 2006 7:03 AM

Hi Teree,

An amazing story. A simple process and yet, I would of never thought of getting the caterpillars and raise them as you did. Definitely I will try and raise them now that you shared your experience.

Yesterday afternoon I was taking pictures in my garden and noticed caterpillars on my rose bushes. They are smaller in size and different incolour.I checked the roses closely and it seems that they are infested with caterpillars. I don't know what kind they are but definitely I will experiment and raise a few in a big jar.

Thank you forsharing.


gotta.learn Aug 4, 2006 6:14 PM

Hi Macnite,

I'm glad you are inspired to give it a try. Perhaps if you can collect a caterpillar and as you watch it grow etc. you can take a series of pictures as it develops into a chrystalis and butterfly. Then post them for us to see. :-)

Good luck and I hope you succeed in getting butterflies. Or even moths! Some are quite beautiful. They are raised the same way.

Hope to see more of your beautiful pictures soon.

Teree :)

Macnite Aug 4, 2006 10:45 PM

Hi Teree,

Thanks to you I've got interested into raising a caterpillar!I've taken a Black Swallowtail caterpillar from my gardenand place it in a big jar and every day I give it a fresh piece of fennel branch to eat. I've taken pictures and can't wait to see it develop into a butterfly.I'll post them as soon as the process is completed!!


gotta.learn Aug 5, 2006 8:29 AM

1 Attachment(s)
OH my Gosh Macnite, that is sooooo cool!!! I can't wait to see your butterfly! I'm excited for you. I saw two IO Moth caterpillers on one of my bushes a couple of weeks ago and regret to say I didn't take them to raise. But I did get pictures. :)

Here is one. I like the "racing stripe" down the sides.:lol:

Macnite Aug 5, 2006 8:58 AM

That is so nice. Have you taken a picture of the moth? I'm excited to see the end result with my caterpillar!

D.Ann Aug 5, 2006 2:47 PM

Wow, I love your caterpillar photo! Donna

schmintan Aug 5, 2006 7:52 PM

i would like to try this, but how do you know the day that the butterfly will emerge. sure you can estimate, but you cant be sure. you could be sitting around for 2 or3 days waiting. im sure it would be very disapointing if you sat around for a day or two, nothing happend, so you went to the shop for an hour and the butterfly was already out when you came back!

Macnite Aug 5, 2006 8:29 PM

Thanks for viewing and commentingDona.

schmintan, gotta.learn (Teree) is the expert in caterpillars/butterflies. If you read up above the page you will find the exact way how toand what needs to be done to enjoy butterflies.

tiger98 Aug 5, 2006 11:01 PM

That first shot is super Macnite! Great detail and color. Jim

Macnite Aug 6, 2006 8:54 PM

Thanks for the comments Jim.

gotta.learn Aug 7, 2006 12:25 AM

Hi Schmintan & Macnite, :-)

Schmintan, you are right. You could watch the chrystalis all day and the minute you take a break to fix a sandwich, you come back and the butterfly is out already. It almost makes mewonder if they are waiting on purposetill they have some privacy. Ha ha :lol:

However, there can be clues to when it's getting close to the day. Sometimes, the coloration and markings of the butterfly in the chrystalis will become a littlemore pronounced and the chrystalis more clear depending on the species. Monarch Butterfly chrystalis' are the most dramatic in this way, actually changing color from a beautiful pale turqoise to actually becoming completely clearon the day itis to emerge. Then you can really see all the colors and markings of the wings.

Hopefully you will be among the lucky few that are able to watch the butterfly emerge from the chrystalis, but even if you don't get to witness that part, it is still a huge thrill to look in the jar one day and suddenly seea butterfly hanging from its former housing, stretching it's wings and taking shape, beautiful and perfect.

Just a warning, when they are fresh out of the chrystalis, the wings look pretty wrinkley and the body plump looking but, they slowly change as they hang like jewels waiting for everything to go into place. This can take some time so you may have a chance to watch for awhile.

I am so excited for you macnite! Have a great time. You make me want to go out and find a caterpillar to raise too. :-)

Meanwhile, I'll wait for your pictures.

Teree :)

Macnite Aug 7, 2006 10:19 AM

Hi Teree,

I found two small swallowtale caterpillars this morning onthe flowers of afennel stack. I put them in a separate jar. The bigger one I think isshowing signs that it wants to form a cocoon. I think its the only one that survived from the first batch.

gotta.learn Aug 10, 2006 10:06 AM

Hi Macnite,

That is exciting that your first caterpiller is showing signs of becoming a chrysalis. Youmay be right about your first caterpillar being a survivor. I'm glad you saved him! I bet he is too. :-) That is great that you found two more!!! How wonderful! I can't wait to see the butterflies.

Oh, by the way, I couldn't find my pictures of the IO moths. When I do (hopefully) I'll post them for you.

Thanks for the update on your new findings. :cool:

Teree :)

Macnite Aug 10, 2006 10:57 AM

Hi Teree,

Certenly I'll keep you posted with the developements of the caterpillar. It looks that she is in a puppa (?) stage. The other two are eatting almost as much as I do!! LOL.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:05 AM.