Well, I bid everyone adieu for the weekend, but I have a bit of a quandry on my hands so I thought I’d pop back in, the sooner the better, and look for a little advice from any bug-knowing folks out there.
What we have here is a giant swallowtail butterfly (from 2013). The first one I had ever seen. Fortunately, I saw another one this year! It came around a handful of times into the backyard. Even better? I found some giant swallowtail caterpillars, a.k.a. orange dogs, on a house plant on the back deck!
So what’s my question? My question was going to be what to do if they pupate on the orange tree, which needs to come inside soon as the temperatures continue to drop? But the bigger of the two has disappeared, so now I’m wondering, does anyone know the pupation habits of a giant swallowtail? I’d really like to photograph the chrysalis!
I guess the original question does still hold if the smaller (but still growing) second caterpillar remains on the plant. I’m kind of hoping it wanders off too, but hopefully somewhere in sight. I’m a little worried though; not the best shelter unless under the deck a bit, even the snow can really pile up.
Anyway, basically I’m looking for any knowledge about their pupation. I found one thing on a University of FL page that said they may stay on the host plant or wander a short distance, but that’s been about as specific as I could find. Thanks in advance!
(P.s. a little out of my element without my reverse lens. This shot was taken with a 35mm f/1.8 G Nikkor lens and has been cropped a good amount. Also photos (and video?!) of the caterpillars will be coming eventually, but not until I delete some files so I can upload. The old hard drive is stuffed!)