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Visitors in the Garden

Look who I found crawling on the parsley.

When I first found them they all looked like the upper 2 caterpillars.  I decided to try to identify them to see if they were good caterpillars or bad caterpillars.

My well-used butterfly book that I received in 1972 didn't show any caterpillars resembling mine so I switched to the Internet.  All the caterpillars that came up with parsley didn't look anything like it.  So, I focused on the white stripe.  Everything that came up had stripes going from head to toe, not across. 

Next, I tried white band and that did it.  The same caterpillar associated with parsley came up.  After I clicked into enough sites I discovered that the caterpillar starts out looking one way and then changes.  The photo above was taken 24 hours after I first found the caterpillars and you an see that the lower one has changed but the remnants of the stripe is still visible.

The caterpillars will become black swallowtails.
I went back to my old book and read the entry for black swallowtails.

"When small, the larva, like that of most swallowtails, is dark brown with a white saddle mark.  It becomes green, as illustrated, as it matures."

I guess if I would have read instead of looking at the pictures I could have figured it out the old-fashioned way. The swallowtail is the first butterfly in the book.

The oldest caterpillar is turning more yellowish.  But, it's still not green.


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