Black swallowtail, part two, after a 6-1/2 month wait

Something I learned today:  a chrysalis is a pupa that hangs.  A cocoon is a pupa that does not.  I have usually used these two terms interchangeably.

I set a black swallowtail chrysalis on the ledge in our art/science room this fall, after determining that it was a dud.  I did not assume it was an overwintering swallowtail since its sister hatched out just perfectly.  However, with sustained warm days and nights (and my ignorance in leaving it out on a shelf), it hatched yesterday during some 75 degree weather.  I found it on the floor, crumpled and alone.  I was able to get it hanging, in order for it to pump up its wings, and I performed a little spiderweb removal to allow the right hindwing to properly fill with fluid.  Within an hour, it was gorgeous.  I have a paper towel moistened with 1 part sugar/10 parts water as well as half an orange.  I do know that swallowtails can go several days without nectar at the beginning of this stage, but I felt it needed a little coaxing to eat this morning.  So we carefully uncurled its proboscis with a pin and encouraged some slurping on the orange.  She ate for several moments, was restful for a while, and now is quite active.

I realize now how hardy these pupae are.  I handled this pupa dozens of times this winter, moving it from place to place, even dropping it once or twice.ImageImage

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