Two Black Swallowtail Butterflies

by Jan M
(Decatur, IL)

Two Butterflies, One Chrysalis

Two Butterflies, One Chrysalis

We had one black swallowtail chrysalis in a glass jar with a mesh top. There had been two caterpillars in the jar but one disappeared and the other formed a chrysalis about three days later. This morning (after 10 days in the chrysalis), two butterflies were in the jar. Both emerged the same day and still only one chrysalis in the jar. Have you ever heard of two butterflies emerging from the same chrysalis?

Karen says:
No, I have never heard of this happening. I am wondering if the second caterpillar became a chrysalis and camouflaged itself so well that you couldn't see it. I am guessing you have checked the jar thoroughly for the second empty chrysalis. Was the mesh top on the jar all of the time? If not, it might have wandered nearby to go into a chrysalis and then joined it's "friend" in the jar after it emerged :)

Otherwise, you have a miraculous twin!!

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What to do with my butterfly that hatched?
by: Anonymous

My name is Kat and I am 8. I found a green caterpillar on some of my mom's parsley last month, and put the caterpillar in a jar, and just today, about 3 weeks later, it hatched in the small jelly jar. I am scared for it because it is 35 degrees outside and sort of snowing. What should I do with it now? I want it to live.

Kat, the butterfly lover

Karen says:
Hi Kat! I would suggest for now that you might try feeding your butterfly Gaterade, Juicy Juice or sugar water (your mom or dad should help you boil water and add sugar to dissolve at 10 to 1 ratio - example... 10T water to 1T sugar). Saturate a crumpled white paper towel with the nectar and place on a shallow plate or dish.

When the weather warms up and the sun comes out, you can release the butterfly outside. Hope this helps!

by: Jan M.

Yes, the mesh was on the jar all of the time, and I did check the jar thoroughly for another chrysalis. The second butterfly took about three hours longer to dry its wings before flying off. What a miracle to watch all this happen!

Karen says:
Wow Jan...that is amazing!!

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