Monday, April 14, 2014

Pipevine Life Cycle

I have told you before about the beautiful Pipevine swallowtail butterfly (see Butterfly Sex Notes) that lays its eggs on leaves of the pipevine.

pipevine flower 5-7-2010 8-10-35 AM 1000x1045

Soon the eggs hatch into a beautiful, though toxic caterpillar (it picks up toxins from the pipevine leaves).

Pipevine 3 9-3-2010 8-17-43 AM 868x935

Eventually, the caterpillar matures and creates a chrysalis in which to pupate. This is so cool! First, it places some silk on the twig (or in this case wall) as a base, then it spins the chrysalis, attaching the top part to the wall with a noose made out of silk!

Pipevine chrysalis 8-17-2013 2-26-38 PM 866x1191


  1. And what a lovely color! It just screams, "I'm toxic, bro!"

    1. Exactly! Those are known as aposematic colors!