Where are the Pipevine Cats?

Pipevine Swallowtail caterpillars on Pipevine leaf photographed by Jeff Zablow at Butterflies and Blooms in the Briar Patch Habitat I, Eatonton, GA

Virginia pointed them out to me. They were in the Butterflies and Blooms in the Briar Patch Habitat I, in the center of town, Eatonton, Georgia. A whole bunch of cats, there that July 2017 morning.

I said ‘no,’ it’d be tough to get a good image of these so tiny caterpillars, shooting my hand-held Canon Elan film camera. She, in that firm manner of hers, said, “do it.” And of course I did, and here they are.

I made no effort to herd this passel of Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly caterpillars, pausing to soak in the morning sun. They would begin to consume those same leaves. Pipevines only eat pipevine plants. The Habitat I sported many pipevine plants, and so supported Pipevine Swallowtails caterpillars.

I’ve seen Pipevine Swallowtails in Pennsylvania, perhaps 2 a year. The Habitat I, in Georgia, featured 3 or 4 adults a day. When the morning sun reflects back from the top of their hindwings . . . Oh My Goodness!

(Habitat I had to be moved, when the city of Eatonton quietly sold the land under it. Eatonton did agree to give a much larger, nicely placed set of acres to the Butterflies and Blooms in the Briar Patch Habitat, to now be called Habitat II. It’s Grand Opening is next month on the 19th of April. Consider an Arbor Day with music, butterflies, events, walks and festivities).

Jeff

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