Tag Archives: Butterflies

Cycles of Life:
Swallowtail Caterpillars

In my recent post about swallowtail butterflies I mentioned that in some cases, as many as 50% of the pupae of a typical clutch will have been cannibalized and an ichneumon wasp will hatch instead of a butterfly. Ichneumon wasps inject their eggs into (among other things) swallowtail butterfly caterpillars. There, the egg hatches and slowly eats the living butterfly caterpillar. Yes, this is really gruesome. I’ve seen multiple fly larvae come out of the living caterpillars of other butterfly species.

The discovery of larval cannibalism was even a shock to Charles Darwin, among othersĀ  (here a quote from Wikipedia): Continue reading Cycles of Life:
Swallowtail Caterpillars

Summer Sunday Mornings

Our heat wave is finally over, and we are having a beautiful summer morning with clear blue skies and temps in the low 70s.

Logging Road

I took advantage of the weather to go visit my favorite logging road in a forest nearby and to lie down on my belly in the gravel.

Which allowed me to get a nice photograph of this speckled wood butterfly (pararge aegeria).

pararge aegeria (Click for larger).