05 July 2008

Florence fennel feast

For this black swallowtail caterpillar that is. It was munching on a frond of fennel when I first saw it, but by the time I returned with the camera it had moved down and appeared to be taking an afternoon nap in the shade of the stem. There were two caterpillars on this plant, but at this size the creature is nearly ready to pupate, so shouldn't cause too much more damage.

Yes, I'm guilty of dual standards - happily picking off the green cabbage white caterpillars and leaving these. I console myself with the thought that cabbage whites are non-native butterflies (they arrived in Quebec in 1860, according to my Garden Bugs of Ontario book), while swallowtails are. And I'm not the only one who feels this way - I see that Daphne has the same discriminatory tendencies!

2 comments:

Daphne said...

I confess that I love to watch the cabbage butterfly in my garden too, but they are way to numerous to let their caterpillars run free. And the swallowtails are so beautiful. They are easily worth a dill or fennel plant. I have to say even their caterpillars are beautiful.

themanicgardener said...

I plan to be far more discriminating about caterpillars in future.
--kate