Giant Swallowtail Eggs & Cats

13 years ago

The first time I saw the Giant Swallowtail here was last Wednesday (August 6), and she laid eggs that same day. I found 6 eggs that day, 6 eggs the next day, and 3 more the next day. I hadn't noticed her around here for a few days after that, so I thought that she died, but yesterday there was one here again (don't know if it was the same one?) and she laid 9 eggs on the rue. Neither butterfly laid any on the leaves. I looked it over pretty well and couldn't find any, which surprised me, because I thought she'd laid her eggs on the tender foliage. Every egg that I found was laid either on or very near a seedhead. I wonder how much a butterfly is capable of thinking. I was wondering if she instinctively knew that her eggs would be less conspicuous up on the seed heads that are starting to turn brown rather than if she lay them on the leaves.

The first baby hatched around 12:30 AM yesterday, and I've had five more also hatch. I had put several sprigs of rue in the container, hoping that they would each have their own, but I've ended up with 2 or 3 on each anyway. I've read on here about GST cannibalism but didn't know if it occurred with ones of the same age like these are or only involve ones that have more difference in age than mine. I just found 9 more eggs last evening (does going outside after dark in my bathrobe with a scissors, plastic container, and flashlight in hand qualify me for the looney bin? lol), and I'm going to keep those separate from the ones that I found last week.

What is the consensus here? Should I put each GST in a container of its own or are they okay together?

Here are two of the eggs and two of my babies:



Btw, what are those things on their heads? They look like horns. :)


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