EBS18Imago1They’re always full of surprises. Imagine my shock when I made a routine check of the pupae and caterpillars this morning and saw this fellow waiting there, fully eclosed, stretched out and ready to go. And it is a fellow. Note the small blue patches on the lower end of the hindwings. In females the blue is much more extensive and the upper yellow band composed of smaller spots. This isn’t the caterpillar I’d been following up until now for the Eastern Black Swallowtail diary. That one has only just started to darken and will probably eclose in a day or so, or maybe even tomorrow morning. This one eclosed in ten days, which is quite quick, as far as I know. I’m wondering if the different diet (dill vs. carrot) had anything to do with it.

EBS19Imago2And here he is on the ‘Black Peony’ poppy (only not really that black). The undersides of the wings are rather more colourful and have a lot of orange thrown into the pattern. It was bloody hard taking these pictures, because EBS like to fan their wings.

Then he was off.

 Just to make this a gardening post for a garden blog: it’s been the hottest, muggiest day of the year so far, and I did nothing in the garden because I’d been out all day. I can hear the thirsty container plants cussing at me and plotting my doom.