I’m working on a gallery of my photos of the entire life cycle of the anise swallowtail butterfly, starting with the eggs that a butterfly lay on fennel plant in our garden. We bring them inside and feed the caterpillars fennel or yampah (which is the native larval food for this butterfly, very difficult to find these days), keep them through the chrysalis stage until they emerge, and then we release them.
This is an extreme closeup of an egg, which is about the size of a pinhead.
This is a photo of a caterpillar (on the left side of the stick) getting ready to turn into a chrysalis. At right are three chrysalises, note the variety of the colors.
When the butterflies are ready to go, we release them to fly away, hopefully to lay eggs to continue the cycle…