This morning I had the chance to visit the garden with my cousin Lee from Bucks County. I have been talking up the Bournelyf Butterfly Garden to family and friends and it was fun to share it today. Here are some of the things that we saw on our visit.
We have never seen the larva or caterpillar of the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (ETS) in our garden but we have seen it frequently in its butterfly form. The ETS goes through five stages or instars before it is ready to pupate. It molts or sheds its skin to accommodate its growing size between instars. Before it molts it forms a new skin under the old. The coloring of the ETS larva changes between its developmental stages as well. A pupa is the life stage in a butterfly’s metamorphosis that occurs between the larval and the adult stage. The caterpillar forms a chrysalis to protect it during this stage.
While the Silver Spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus) was too quick to photograph this is what it looked like.
This is one of the larger skippers and its body is thicker than most butterflies but is active during the day as butterflies are. Its antennae are hooked. The larvae are up to two inches long with a brownish-red head with two orange spots and a yellow green body.