Oh boy! I can see wings in my black swallowtail crysalis this morning. Am looking for another crysalis for a young friend to watch with her little boy. How far away from the host plant and how high from ground should I be looking?
Dell - I rarely find a chrysalis hanging in the wild. They hide really well and are often quite a distance from their host plant. They usually look for a sturdy place. Good luck! I hope you either find a caterpillar or by sheer luck ... a chrysalis.
Oh, I do remember finding a cabbage white...but they are prolific. I used to let my monarch caterpillars make chrysalis' outside, they'd hang from the siding of our house. But otherwise...wild ones I haven't found.
Hopefully you find something for your mom to watch!!
I see Monarch chrysalis on my concrete wire tomato cages frequently and at the park they get under the wooden barrier on the roadside after making a perilous journey across the road from the median garden. Over the weekend in a friends garden I got to see lots of Pipevine Swallowtail cats of various ages. They didn't seem to like the older pipevine leaves and were mostly on young plants that had come up as volunteers this spring. We also had fun trying to ID moths at night. She has five or six trays of rooting fruit that she gets from a local farm stand. The she drops off a five gallon bucket which the farm stand fills with fruit they can't sell - peaches right now. The trays bring in lot of butterflies during the day but the real show is at night. Anyone (me included) who thinks skipper ID is difficult hasn't met the moth clan. The new Peterson Fieldguide is helpful but there are so many look alike species.
Ward - I've noticed that the first instar caterpillars usually do climb to the top of a plant to eat the most tender youngest leaves.
That's a great idea about the unsold fruit for the butterflies. I never even thought about using that to attract moths. Great idea!!!!
I go nuts trying to ID moths. There are so many of them here and some look so similar. Thanks for the heads-up on the book. Some of those moths cats are really cool looking! Some though have spikey hair that will actually sting you.
Wellnwe had so much fun with the butterfly. I walked out front to water some pots of flowers, walked back in and there was a butterfly. Couldn't believe how it had literally just stepped out of the chrysalis and that was it! Put HER in the rose bush for protection after she started fluttering about the cage. Then later in the day discovered my dozen other baby caterpillars on the parsley were all gone!m I blame the parent bluebirds! So started keeping a close eye on the 3 other fair sized cats I had on a dill. On one trip out to check on them, I was startled to see a wasp land on one and shoot it's stinger straight through it! Argh. So I immediately brought in the remaining cat. As of right now, it has been hanging by its hammock thread for several hours. So fun! Am planning to pass this one on to the young friend who is mom to a 4 year old so they can enjoy the process. This is so much fun! And thanks for the info on searching for the chrysalis. I've seen many fritillary crysalises before so had thought maybe I was just not looking in the right place. Guess I'd seen many before jut because the situation was perfect to see them.