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

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s