Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsZoology · 1 month ago

Help, black swallowtail caterpillars?

I just brought in two black swallowtail caterpillars from the tiny bit of parsley I had growing in my deck planter. They finished it and were wandering on the deck with no place to go. I put them in a 4 cup glass with a cheese cloth lid and a branch to climb on and added fresh parsley. They won't eat.  One looks large enough to cocoon but the other is a lot smaller. There's nothing to eat outside and its 60 during the days. How can I get them to eat?  (Picture shows them outdoors before they ate all the parsley.)

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3 Answers

  • 1 month ago

    You gave them the wrong kind of parsley for the species. Try them with dill or fennel. I'd say Queen Anne's Lace, since that's a native plant, but there are false Queen Anne's Lace plants that are not the same even though they LOOK the same. The REAL type has no purple blotches on the stem and the stem is hairy. The other one is extremely poisonous.


    The host plants of the Black Swallowtail butterfly include such plants as carrots, parsley, dill, fennel, Queen Anne's Lace and rue. The Anise Swallowtail caterpillar feeds on anise as well and reportedly citrus plants also.

    Raise Black Swallowtail Butterflies Indoors - Joyful Butterfly › black-swallowtail-butterflies-indoors

  • JimZ
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    They sell fresh parsley in the supermarket. If they don't want to eat that, that may mean they are getting ready to molt and turn into a chrysalis.

  • 1 month ago

    They may like a larger tank to keep them and will need plenty of fresh food.

    Another thing they need is a certain humidity like they have outdoors.

    Yea, they could go into chrysalis any time, outdoors, not emerging until next spring.

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