Wildlife Wednesdays: Raising a Spicebush Swallowtail Part III

Seven days after finding our spicebush swallowtail, he has turned into a plump and fully green caterpillar. 
Our caterpillar is enjoying a new sassafras leaf.
Each day after our caterpillar is given his new sassafras branch, he spins a mat of silk on his leaf of choice. This mat shrinks as it dries and curls the leaf's edges, giving him a place to hide. FYI - When you're near a host tree, you can look for folded leaves and you'll locate sleeping caterpillars inside. They come out at night to eat.

In the pictures below, our caterpillar is moving his head back and forth, spinning his mat. You can also see how much more plump he has gotten thirteen days after being found. Notice the pink beginning to show up around his legs on his bottom half.

A curled leaf offers protection from daytime predators and heat.
Wrens often bite through the center of folded spicebush leaves
to eat the caterpillar inside.
Be sure to check back next week, the changes will be dramatic!

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