which will be perfect for them when they become butterflies.
This is Mikey, he was the smallest caterpillar of the 8 when I found them,
and the last to pupate to a chrysalis.
Mikey is on the left here... on the right, you can see 2 caterpillars getting ready to pupate. Once they have grown to be about 1.5 inches, they stop eating and become very active for about 24 hours. Then they scrunch up, wiggle out of their outer skin, and expose the chrysalis beneath.
The chrysalis will be either brown, or green and is attached to the branch of choice with thin silks it has spun. In two weeks, they will be beautiful Black Swallowtail Butterflies They will stay in their netted home for about 2 hours, so their wings can dry... then, I will release them to be free. This is how they looked when I brought them indoors, 2 weeks ago. Here they are on August 6th, climbing all over the counter while I cleaned the cage. And here they are a few days later on August 8th, and on August 12th.
I purchased the netted home from Shady Oak Farm and I would highly recommend them, they have awesome customer service! Here, is a link to the first post I wrote when I found the caterpillars and here is a link to an excellent article Raise Black Swallowtails Butterflies Indoors that a faithful follower Peg shared with me. Many thanks Peg, it is an excellent article and I have referred to it often.