The black swallowtail butterfly caterpillar has emerged!
When I checked the egg last Tuesday at noon, I discovered it had turned dark. I looked again at 4:30 and saw a small black dot. Using a hand lens (a strong magnifying glass), I discovered the caterpillar was out and eating its egg shell. By 6:30 the egg shell was gone.
Since then the caterpillar has been eating dill and growing. As of day six, it is about a quarter of an inch long. It’s black with a small white patch in the middle and spines along its back.
I created a cage using a plastic shoe box (8 x 13 inches), nylon tulle from a fabric store, and elastic ribbon. The dill is in a florist tube filled with water. I’ll keep the cage indoors where there is plenty of light but no direct sun, and where I can watch it.
The caterpillar is the small black spot on the dill in the image above. I look forward to watching it grow and change.