About a month ago I planted dill weed in a container hoping to attract swallowtail butterflies. A few days ago I was sitting in my prayer chair and noticed what I thought were bird droppings all over the plant. On closer inspection, it turned out to be Black Swallowtail Caterpillars! I counted 16!
I tried to get pics that day, but the light was dismal and the caterpillars were too small. Today I observed how much they had grown. The one shown below has just molted its skin and is in the fourth or fifth instar stage; one of the last stages before it turns into a chrysalis. Boy, am I happy!
If you are interested in attracting swallowtails, they are partial to fennel, dill weed, parsley and rue.
100mm | f/16 | ISO 400 | 1/40 sec