Just now I visited Wind Walker’s blog and found that she has posted something about two lovely caterpillars of swallowtails that she is feeding. This remind of me of my caterpillars. I have found a lot of caterpillars of Papilio machaon, a similar species with Wind Walker’s, on carrot leaves. I tried to feed them but most of them died or escaped from the box. Only one transformed into a cocoon. Here are some photos.
When I first found this charming creature it was crawling on the ground so I didn’t know what its host plant is. I took a cabbage leaf nearby for granted. But the worm refused to eat.
In the following days I found more caterpillars on carrots. This one is preparing for becoming a cocoon. But it failed at last.
This is the only one that finished the transformation successfully on Oct 19. The cocoon is green at the begining moment.
Three days later, the cocoon turned grey. The most horrible thing for a caterpillar is that the worm had been parasitized by some kind of tiny wasp, which lay eggs inside a caterpillar’s body. Larvae of the wasp will grow up inside the caterpillar. When they kill the caterpillar and eat up all its organs, they emerge to wasps and fly out, leaving an empty skin hanging on a branch. Fortunately, this one looks very healthy. It probably will emerge in spring. Hoping for the brilliant moment!