Sunday, September 23, 2007

I'm Calling Them Laurel and Hardy

DH found a couple of parsley worms/black swallowtail butterfly caterpillars on his parsley yesterday. He brought them in intending to experiment on them (!) or at least observe them for a bit and let them go, but I decided we're going to raise them. So now they're sitting in our 2.5 gal aquarium with a couple of sticks and several stalks of parsley. You would not believe how much these things eat! I mean, I understand they're fattening up to overwinter in hibernation and all, but the amount of poop (called "frass") they produced in the fifteen minutes it took me to find an appropriate home for them was prodigious.

They were pretty much identical yesterday but today one is fatter than the other, so I've named them Laurel and Hardy. Hardy does nothing but eat. Laurel's been climbing the tacky glue at the corners of the aquarium to the mesh roof (very handy to have an aquarium with a top!) and now crawling across it. I'm not sure if he's trying to get out, thinks DH's nearby orchids look tasty or if he's looking for a place to pupate, but they're pretty funny to watch. Caterpillars eat leaves one row at a time, like an ear of corn, or a weed-whacker.

For info on how to raise black swallowtail or monarch butterflies, check out

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