Cat out of the Bag

The Clouded Sulphur emerged on January 21. Of course I was ready for it since the chrysalis changes colors as you saw in yesterday’s post.

The Giant Swallowtail was not so easy. This was right after it pupated.

As I finished up with the Clouded Sulphur, Jim heard a noise at the Curry Foster Home shelf. Oh darn, the Giant Swallowtail made an early entrance! Well, that was my opinion. LOL
Furthermore there had not been a color change to the chrysalis. Thus, I was not expecting it until spring. But hey, I guess the inside temp of the house said otherwise to its internal clock. So perhaps the length of day might not be the only deciding factor for emerging?

So with cat out of the bag, it was time to release it!

These hairs were interesting. You can see them moving in the wind in the movie.

Out in the grass.

It was a full twenty-four hours before it left its grassy spot. So by the afternoon the next day in the sunshine it did fly away. Sadly, I don’t think it will make it unlike the Clouded Sulphur because there won’t be any food or mate for it. However a few species butterflies do overwinter as adults. Some of Sulphur butterflies are examples. They simply live on fat reserves and hide in crevices. But I have never seen a swallowtail in the winter. FYI, the release was a few days ago when it was warmer. 🙂

However, I took the opportunity, to get a few more close ups while it was cold the next morning.

So purty!

The scales are modified hairs.

Even the straw colored scales were fascinating!

The legs were a pale bluish.

Spring will be here before you know it. Of course today feels more like winter. We even had a few sleet pellets and snow flakes mixed in with the rain.

Earth’s Inner Core May Right Now Be in The Process of Changing Direction

Watch Rare Drone Video of a Moose Shedding Its Antlers

Keep looking!

The more you know, the more you see and the more you see, the more you know


  1. Fresh butterflies have such beautiful colors and scales are so neat. Thanks.
    We get Pipevine Swallowtails most months here. Saw one before it got cold again. But I don’t see any of the other swallowtails in winter. I don’t see the cats so I guess they can overwinter as adults but not in large numbers. Or they emerged because of warm days. Don’t really know. The sulphurs and snouts do overwinter down here.

    1. Interesting to know what you get further south of Wise County. I think the swallowtails must overwinter in pupal form. But I have not ever found any either. In fact, the only ones I have found in the winter of any species of butterflies are those that are flying around.

  2. I have had pipevine swallowtails emerge as early as December and as late as March before, keeping them out on my porch where they can get natural air. Sometimes they just want out!

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