I had a great experience today, it started last September when I found a Black Swallowtail caterpillar eating on a dill plant. There had been several others but they had been eaten by something so I collected it and put it in a nursery box. It continued feeding for a couple of day then it went into a pupae. It overwintered and I thought it had perished but today there was a beautiful butterfly in the box. I was awestruck, opening the cage it climbed onto my finger and flew away. I totally forgot to get any pictures. Amazing
After two weeks, the caterpillar will have shed its skin and is ready to morph into a pupae. It in the pupae, an amazing transformation takes place, how do they know what to change into I wonder. My butterfly transformed over 8 months during the fall, winter and emerging at the end of May .
In just two weeks the caterpillar will shed its skin five times. In other words, the insect must wear and outgrow five skins. Each skin is called an instar
I was so struck by discovering the butterfly I totally forgot to get a picture, so this is another one from last year.