Life cycle of the anise swallowtail butterfly

Anise swallowtail butterfly on buddleia flower

Anise swallowtail butterfly on buddleia flower

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.

Anise swallowtail egg on fennel

Anise swallowtail egg on fennel

This is an extreme closeup of an egg, which is about the size of a pinhead.

Anise swallowtail caterpillar and chrysalises

Anise swallowtail caterpillar and chrysalises

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.

Anise swallowtail butterfly emerged from chrysalis

Anise swallowtail butterfly emerged from chrysalis

When the butterflies are ready to go, we release them to fly away, hopefully to lay eggs to continue the cycle…

Anise swallowtail butterfly on allium flower

Anise swallowtail butterfly on allium flower