Last post was “so fuzzy,” and this one is “so tiny!”
I went back out to check on the Eastern Black Swallowtail eggs today and found a small caterpillar.
This evening I told the kids to go see if they could spot it and my daughter found one that was even smaller!
I honestly thought I had spotted the caterpillar that was just a day or so old… but I was clearly mistaken. My caterpillar had to have been at least a couple days old and hers looked just like a tiny speck on the leaf that my aging eyes would certainly have missed. The ruler placement in the photo doesn’t do it justice – it really was only between 1/8 and 1/4 inch. But check out the difference between the one she spotted and the one I spotted.
While we were out there I spotted another one the size of the larger caterpillar. Clearly I missed the larger 2 for at least a day or so while I’ve been checking the parsley for any caterpillars. I checked my Golden Alexander today too and nothing… though now I’m really doubting my eyes! At any rate… very happy to see evidence that our efforts at gardening for butterflies is paying off! More caterpillars means, hopefully, more butterflies! Or… well… I suppose it could mean more birds fed too. Either way giving nature a little boost and plant by plant gradually transforming our large, unproductive lawn back into a well functioning part of a healthy ecosystem.
For more about the Eastern Black Swallowtail (including what the butterfly looks like) check out this post from last fall.