Saturday, August 28, 2010
Introducing ....... The Black Swallowtail
When the butterflies reached the stage of emerging from the chrysalis, Dad put the terrarium inside my Funhouse, which became a temporary butterfly house. For the first butterfly, this happened in the garage, because it was wet and rainy outside. By the time the second one was ready, the weather was better and Dad did it outside:
It took a long time from the time the butterfly emerged from the chrysalis until it was ready to fly: apparently they pump blood into their wings to fill them out, and then the wings have to harden some before the butterfly is ready for flying. So #2 spent time clinging to the parlsey and to the twigs in the terrarium. Dad had the flap to the funhouse open so he could leave when he was ready.
Most of the pictures show the underside of the wings better than the top side. For these butterflies, it seems the underside is more colorful than the top. But it is the pattern of yellow vs blue on the top side that indicates whether the black swallowtail is male or female. We believe this guy is male because there is more yellow than blue on the top side of the wings. Though this last photo is a little out of focus, it is the best one Dad got showing the pattern on the back (top) of the wings.
Mom is home now, which makes me feel better - I like to have all my family together. Also she doles out more food for me! I plan to reclaim my Funhouse tomorrow and spend the day like this:
I also hope to get to all my friends' blogs to comment, since I haven't been able to do that as much as I would like this past week.