This afternoon after church we were getting ready to lay out some hard wheat berries to try and grow wheat grass for juice and smoothies. Apparently it's nutrient rich. So we're trying it. When I went into our mudroom to find a tray I found that four of our Black swallowtail butterflies hatched out, maybe sometime in the night. Our friend from church told us to let them out at night so the birds wouldn't eat them right away. I forgot about that until after we released 3. Oh well. At least we have some more pollinators in our neighborhood now! Last summer we had a Antheraea Polyphemus cocoon and when she hatched out she attracted several males and mated, laid eggs and we had about 100 baby caterpillars from her. So I am thinking that might be a possibility with these butterflies as well. I should have kept them over night in our net. We have 6 more to go so I'll give our entomologist friend a call and find out if they'll mate in captivity. I learned the hard way last summer to keep them fed and cleaned more often because we lost quite a few to disease. This year we were more vigilant and it's paid off. So exciting to see them go through almost a complete life cycle! The Photos of the chrysalis are either right before they hatched out or afterwards, when it's empty. We noticed how it changed color right before they were going to hatch out. Before they were that bright green color(as seen in previous post) now they are more brown and translucent.
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FAMILY NATURE STUDY