Now is the time to start searching your butterfly garden for late season eggs and larvae. Today I found nine Black Swallowtail eggs and three larvae. These were all on Rue. I checked the Bronze Fennel, but didn’t find any. BST’s will also use dill, parsley and fennel as host plants.
Since it’s getting colder here in St. Louis I brought these inside to finish their last seasons growth and go into their chrysalis form. They still need to be protected from spiders so I like to put these in a fish tank with a cloth over the top.
When they form their chrysalis I take them out to the unheated garage to spend the winter. They usually emerge in April or May. You can also mist them with water during the winter months to keep them hydrated.
The reason for doing all of this extra work is that as soon as you start cleaning up the garden in late fall or early spring, you will in effect be clearing it out of all those left over chrysalises that are waiting to emerge.