Stuck to the side...

by Keowdie
(St. Louis, MO)

We found a western tiger swallowtail caterpillar "hiking" across our lawn yesterday, and brought it inside. It had already turned a deep shade of brown, so we created a lovely little habitat for it, including leaves from several local trees (tulip tree, etc). It doesn't seem to have eaten much but it did explore all of the container. This morning we found that it had silked itself to the side of the aquarium and isn't moving. I thought it had died, but when I touched it (to remove it) the little guy started twitching.

I know this period of stillness can precede the pupa stage, but he's not on or near a leaf, and isn't hanging at the top of the container. Should we do anything for it, or just leave it alone and take a wait/see approach?


Karen says:
I would just let it be. They do become very still before the pupa stage. The black swallowtail attaches itself differently from the monarch. It is quite possible it will attach itself to the side of the aquarium for the pupa stage. Here is information on the black swallowtail caterpillar and how it attaches itself for the pupa stage.

Hope this helps :)

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