Saturday, June 12, 2010

Dill is a Caterpillar Magnet

After reading many postings stating that Swallowtail caterpillars loved Dill, I decided to plant some for that express purpose.  By the time the plants were only three inches tall, they already had a large specimen dining on the fresh greens.  That particular caterpillar eventually disappeared.  I assume it went off somewhere to begin its transformation to life as a butterfly.

But now that the Dill is almost six inches in height, there are almost a dozen of the little caterpillars scattered about the frilly leaves.

The largest is presently just over a quarter inch, with most much smaller.  At this stage, they each have a small white saddle midway down their length.

The seem to grow almost overnight, so I'm looking forward to watching them gain in size and develop their distinctive white, black & yellow pattern.

If I am lucky, maybe one will stick around for the transformation.  Would love to discover a chrysalis amongst the foliage.


  1. Let me know when you find a chrysalis- I had big swallowtail caterpillars on my parsley and covered the plant to protect them. Within an hour they were gone and no sign of anything. Pam said they go down into the soil/mulch. Is this true?

  2. I, too, hope that I eventually find a chrysalis. I've got 2 or 3 on the parsley in the shade garden (which after planting cast iron plant I have discovered that half of the garden really isn't in the shade. oops), and then another 5 or so that I've seen on the parsley in the regular garden and then about 20-bajillion on the tiny dill plant in the planter.

  3. Hi RBell,

    Cool observing in this insect.

    Just like to share with you a beautiful quote...

    "You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life" - Albert Camus

    You can get more quotes about happiness at