Where Did the Caterpillars On My Parsley Go? - Knowledgebase Question

Brookings, SD
Question by harleymom
August 16, 1999
I had many swallowtail butterflies in my yard.
Of course I watched my parsley plants and soon
they were covered with caterpillars which were
devouring the plants. All of a sudden the
caterpillars were gone but I found no cocoons.
Would the caterpillars go somewhere else after
eating the parsley plants to spin the cocoon?
Any clue on what has happened to my caterpillars
other than birds which I don't think got to
them since I have the parsley plants right beside my patio door.
Thanks a lot.

Answer from NGA
August 16, 1999


My guess is the caterpillars spun their cocoons in a more protected locale after dining at your smorgasbord. They usually don't spin them right out in the open where they are more susceptible to predators and man. Good for you for providing such a feast for the butterfly infants!! We need more folks like you in the world if you ask me.

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