We found some black swallowtail butterfly caterpillars
eating parsley in my friend's garden. I brought two of them home,
put them in a butterfly pavilion and gave them lots of fresh
parsley. Yesterday, they were moving around a lot. Today they have
not moved. They are not forming a chrysalis; they are just staying
still on a stick and on the top of the pavilion. They are horizontal
and not vertical. Is this normal behavior? If not, what can I do
differently with a new set of caterpillars?
It could be that the caterpillars are slowing down in preparation to
form a chrysalis. Typically they will stop eating awhile before they
become vertical and form a J.
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Update: June 2012