I found this early instar Tiger Swallowtail caterpillar on the top of a Wild Black Cherry leaf (Prunus serotina) on June 15, 2009.
Here it is on June 20
And on June 24
At this point, it spent much of its time resting on top of one of the leaves – returning to the same leaf each time.Â It fastened itself on with silk, and the leaf hung straight down from the branch. It would leave the leaf to eat other leaves – but never ate its resting leaf.Â This shows the silk that it used to fasten itself to the leaf.
Here’s the larva hanging on its leaf – on June 27th.
Getting ready to pupate, on July 7th
The finished pupa, July 11th
On July 27th the pupa darkened
And later that morning the adult emerged.Â It was a black female.Â (Tiger Swallowtail females come in two forms – yellow and black.Â The black form is more common farther south.Â Here in western Wisconsin we see mostly yellow females, and black ones only occasionally.)
The empty chrysalis
Just before releasing her
Buffalo County, Wisconsin