Been raising butterflies for over 20 years now, mostly Monarchs, but started out with Anise Swallowtails when our boys were little.
Spencer and the Swallowtails
Dylan and the Swallowtails
When my father-in-law was visiting us recently, he got to see one emerge from its chrysalis….it looks like this:
And if that weren’t miraculous enough…
In the past year I’ve had two Queen caterpillars appear on the milkweed in our garden. Queens are very rare in the area, preferring the warmer climes. Queens are similar to Monarchs, but the caterpillars have an extra pair of antennas which are red at the base. The butterflies are a slightly richer brown/orange and lack the black veins on the upper wings….these are the main differences. My sighting even made it onto the BAMONA sightings map! http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/sighting_details/757133 .
And yes, we named a beer after her 🙂 .
When the butterflies first emerge from their chrysalises, they are very docile and make great models.
The caterpillars are less cooperative. I tried to get them to make their chrysalises on some cool statuary and they would have nothing to do with it, so I improvised with the more amiable butterflies.