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Parsley Caterpillar? Empty Parsley Caterpillar?

Post  Cropper2 on 7/6/2010, 8:36 pm

I came home today to find the most beautiful bright green/black caterpillars devouring my parsley. There also appear to be younger versions that are black/gray chowing down as well. Holy cow!! Anyone have any ideas on what to do about them? Yes, I will pick off the ones there now, but then what?
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Post  Retired Member 1 on 7/7/2010, 2:34 pm

They are probably swallowtail butterflies. See pic below. The smaller ones are possibly juvies. I decided I'd rather have butterflies than dill and parsley this year so just let them go. They won't eat anything else in the garden unless it is of the carrot family. Too many butterflies have lost their habitats and I'm happy to go without a few herbs to feed them. (but that is just me.)

If you really want to kill them, then use DP as it targets only caterpillars.

Parsley Caterpillar? Caterp10
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Post  MarcyG on 7/7/2010, 3:13 pm

I found one of these on my Parsley also. It's a beautiful butterfly so I figured I'd leave him.
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Post  Cropper2 on 7/7/2010, 3:34 pm

Oh! That's actually very exciting. I'm glad I didn't pluck any of them off yesterday. I have dozens, so I, too, will forgo any more parsley in favor of butterflies. They are even beautiful as caterpillars. Trendy colors and everything.

Thanks so much for telling me.
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Parsley Caterpillar? Empty fennel

Post  ander217 on 7/7/2010, 4:00 pm

I found my first one of the season just last night, munching away on my fennel tops. We usually get them on our dill, but my amazing dill forest became the new site of our beds and boxes this year. I worried about what the caterpillars would eat this year.

This guy is welcome to all the fennel fronds he can munch.
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Post  junequilt on 7/7/2010, 4:10 pm

I planted bronze fennel just for those colorful caterpillars, but they have yet to show up. Parsley Caterpillar? Icon_cry
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Post  Retired Member 1 on 7/7/2010, 5:31 pm

@Cropper2 wrote:Oh! That's actually very exciting. I'm glad I didn't pluck any of them off yesterday. I have dozens, so I, too, will forgo any more parsley in favor of butterflies. They are even beautiful as caterpillars. Trendy colors and everything.

Thanks so much for telling me.

If you want a treat, gently stroke the top of a large caterpillar from head to tail. They will rise up and smile at you. They also put out a protective "stink" so you might have to wash your finger afterwards.
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Post  Cropper2 on 7/7/2010, 5:45 pm

This is really strange (I think). I just got home to find all of the grown up caterpillars gone and only the little black ones. Why is that?
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Post  Retired Member 1 on 7/7/2010, 9:42 pm

The adults have probably gone off to either molt or make their cocoons. Mine disappear on a regular basis. But I have seen a few swallowtail butterflies, so I know they are "doing their thing".
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Post  sceleste54 on 7/7/2010, 10:57 pm

They make such beautiful butterflies I will gladly sacrifice some of my parsley!!
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