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Black Swallowtails

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Post Options Post Options   Quote bms44974 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Black Swallowtails
    Posted: 05 October 2021 at 22:09
Here's the latest update...

We have one VERY large caterpillar still munching on the parsley (stalks only at this point).

We have two "wanderers" looking for a place to pupate and about 3 more (I can't keep track at this point) that have formed chrysalides.

Please forgive the dump below... this is a selection of the time lapse images captured taken last Sunday.

27. pupation #1


28. pupation #2


29. pupation #3


30. pupation #4


31. pupation #5


32. pupation #6


33. pupation #7


34. pupation #8


35. pupation #9


36. pupation #10


The process from #1 to #10 took less than 10min.

I set up my A7R4 for interval shooting every 15sec. I could not get the flash to participate so had to use an LED floor lamp for illumination. Battery duration was maximized by turning of the display during the process. Even the view finder was a substantial drain on the battery.

I left the tripod stationary and re-framed after each battery change.

AF was on to account for a substantial amount of wriggling during the process.

Once all of the caterpillars have pupated, Lori and I will store them in the refrigerator so that they can emerge when there is plenty of nectar for them. There may be some that emerge before this time and I hope I will be as lucky with emergence of the butterflies.

TFL (and bearing with me on this journey).

Cheers... Brian

A7rIV; A7rII; A6500; A77; SEL2470Z; SEL90M28G; SEL100400GM; SELP1650; SAL70300G; CZ1680; LA-EA4
 



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MichelvA View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote MichelvA Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 October 2021 at 06:20
Originally posted by bms44974 bms44974 wrote:

I'll post some of the highlights tomorrow.

Looking forward to that
Respect Observe Capture Enjoy
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dopol Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 October 2021 at 05:20
Beautiful butterfly.
As Joe said a great finale (although I would like to see some more )
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Jozioau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 October 2021 at 05:18
Brilliant finale to this gripping narrative. As midwife and obstetrician you and your lady should be very proud. 😀
Thanks for bringing this to your appreciative world audience.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote bms44974 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 October 2021 at 03:17
The second butterfly emerged today. It took several hour for its wings to dry sufficiently to fly.

26. Free


A7R4 + SEL90M28G

TFL... Brian

P.S. The time lapse worked marvelously. I'll post some of the highlights tomorrow.
A7rIV; A7rII; A6500; A77; SEL2470Z; SEL90M28G; SEL100400GM; SELP1650; SAL70300G; CZ1680; LA-EA4
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Harm vb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 October 2021 at 10:00
Great series.

Keep on the good work!

TFS.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dopol Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 October 2021 at 09:16
I hope the battery works too
And look forward to photos of the grown swallowtail.
I like #25, it looks as if the caterpillars grow from the parsley.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote bms44974 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 October 2021 at 00:15
We "found" one the original AWOL caterpillars today. A beautiful, black swallowtail butterfly was flitting around our sun porch . I managed to get it outside and it made a bee-line (a.k.a. "butterfly-line") to the flowers on our porch. I tried to get a photo, but it was too fast and is now free in the wilds of Cary, NC.

We have 7 chrysalides, 5 active caterpillars, and 1 caterpillar ready to pupate. I have set up the camera to take time-lapse of the latter as it pupates. I hope the battery lasts long enough to capture the magic!

Cheers... Brian
A7rIV; A7rII; A6500; A77; SEL2470Z; SEL90M28G; SEL100400GM; SELP1650; SAL70300G; CZ1680; LA-EA4
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Post Options Post Options   Quote bms44974 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 October 2021 at 01:29
The large parsley has taken a massive hit from the "hungry hungry caterpillars". Lori and I brought in the smaller plants from the porch to provide enough food for the 6 caterpillars left.

24. bringing back the reinforcements


25. the six remaining


Within 1h, two had already made across to the new growth

Hoping to catch one during pupation.

TFL... Brian
A7rIV; A7rII; A6500; A77; SEL2470Z; SEL90M28G; SEL100400GM; SELP1650; SAL70300G; CZ1680; LA-EA4
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Post Options Post Options   Quote bms44974 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 October 2021 at 00:46
I had been watching this one all day.

22. before


23. after


all within a 2h window (and I missed it!)

TFL... Brian
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Post Options Post Options   Quote bms44974 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 September 2021 at 00:19
Thanks, Brian & Harm!

Lori and I have gladly sacrificed a lot of parsley to the caterpillars and learned a lot about their life cycle in the process.

We have two almost ready to form chrysalides. When ready, they enter a "wandering phase" where they try to get away from their host plant and find a safe place to pupate.

Black swallowtails can vary the color of their chrysalis to camouflage to their surroundings. We have noticed this first hand as those that have formed in the parsley are very difficult to locate.

I have some close-up filters arriving soon to enable less cropping on the photos.

More to come

Cheers... Brian

P.S. Not my best photographic efforts, but documenting the process is quite rewarding.
A7rIV; A7rII; A6500; A77; SEL2470Z; SEL90M28G; SEL100400GM; SELP1650; SAL70300G; CZ1680; LA-EA4
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Harm vb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 September 2021 at 20:20
Great topic!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote brian33 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 September 2021 at 19:18
Wow! Amazing documenting, Brian! Caterpillars happen to be one of the rare bugs that don't gross me out - for some reason I had a caterpillar as a pet when I was a child - and so these pictures bring back memories, even if the one I had was a little different. Very neat photos especially when you see the green, yellow and black up close like on shot number 2.
I detest bugs, especially spiders.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote bms44974 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 September 2021 at 21:30
I had removed the memory card from the camera to process #18 above...

30 minutes later, I returned to put it back and found this

19. Chrysalis emerging


There was a lot of energy expended wriggling out of its old skin.

20. What's going on down there?!


While it was happening, it looked like the chrysalis was being painted over the caterpillar. Reviewing the sequence of shots, I discovered that the chrysalis was inside the old skin and shedding it during the process.

21. Finally free of its old skin


Time elapsed between 19 and 21 was 17 minutes.

TFL... Brian

P.S. I hope to be ready for the beginning for the next one.
A7rIV; A7rII; A6500; A77; SEL2470Z; SEL90M28G; SEL100400GM; SELP1650; SAL70300G; CZ1680; LA-EA4
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