pipevine swallowtail caterpillar

How one man repopulated a rare butterfly species in his backyard
We can all contribute to conservation efforts — sometimes even from our own backyards.
By Zachary Crockett

via http://www.vox.com/2016/7/6/12098122/california-pipevine-swallowtail-butterfly-population 

Tim Wong (Instagram: timtasti1c) <– go follow him, he has lots of beautiful photos including butterfly photos~!


Yesterday’s caterpillars.
1-4) The three pipevine swallowtail caterpillars I saw in McDade
5) My second batch of io moth caterpillars molted for the second time
6-8) My first batch of io moth caterpillars also molted, for the third time
9) When I got back from McDade, I found a few tawny emperor escapees. I was gone too long and their leaves dried up. They always start escaping when they’re hungry.

June 3, 2017


Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor) caterpillars on tropical pipevine, Houston, TX.

These aren’t the clearest photos, but I was so excited yesterday when I found, after 5 years of growing tropical pipevine (Aristolochia fimbriata) and getting nothing, about a dozen caterpillars wriggling around all over the pipevine under our orange tree.

Photographs by Paxon Kale

Look at them! They are glorious, ravenous monsters!

They are Pipevine Swallowtail caterpillars, and they are chewing through my Woolly Dutchman’s Pipe at a truly shocking rate. If you stand beside the vine, you hear this steady feeding sound, which is both cool and deeply, deeply creepy.

I re-located a couple to another pipevine a few yards away which hadn’t gotten colonized, to try and spread the carnage out a bit. This is the first year that I’ve ever had them and they are magnificent and I am extremely honored.