What size are Swallowtail caterpillars when they're ready to form the chrysalis?
(Point Pleasant Boro, NJ)
These are my first Swallowtail caterpillars (last year we had Monarchs) and I don't know how big they will get before they form the chrysalis. There are about 12 of them and I wasn't sure when I should begin providing them with individual containers and sticks to hang from. Thank you.
They usually molt (shed their skin) about 5 times and will get 2" or more long. The surest way to know that they are ready to pupate is when they start to try and wander away from the host food plant. I hope this helps.