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Just a few thoughts about the Pipevine Swallowtail

16 years ago

This is the first time I've raised such a humongous quantity of Pipevine Swallowtails (Battus philenor) at one time. Usually, I have a few at a time and I think last year, I had fifteen munching away at one time. Right now? I haven't even counted. Let's just say the bathroom counter looks like it does during my busiest Monarch season.

This has become quite a lesson for me because I am observing things that I'd not noticed in my previous rearing experiences. For example, I've noted how the fleshy 'spikes' start to recede when the larvae are ready to molt. The head changes to a brilliant orange colour as well at that time. Those same spikes become orange after the molt then slowly become red. It seems to take at least 12 hours for the process to begin. You don't want to euthanize any larvae because you think they're dead-they're just getting ready to molt! (found that one out)

I already knew how stinky the house can get when you have a bunch of these guys. Reminds of a guys' locker room...

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