Monday, October 5, 2015

Visitation from a Late Welcome Guest

I found the guest in question when I went out to cut parsley for pasta e fagiole, right there on the pot of parsley, tucking in.  Very late in the season for him, so I hope he makes it.  I left some parsley in place for him anyway.

This is not a pest!  this is a lovely dusky swallowtail butterfly caterpillar.  They are specific feeders, usually parsley being their food of choice.  

Many years ago when I had a large house and an even larger garden and a very large vegetable garden, I noticed that my entire row of parsley, about 25 feet of it, was nibbled down to the ground and covered in these black and green critters.  But, since no other crops were touched, I concluded that these little guys were not doing me much harm, and what's a bit of parsley between friends, after all.

Ages later I found out that they were my favorite butterfly's caterpillar, so I was even happier that I'd left them in peace.  I've had the current little pot of parsley all season, with no guests at all, so I guess they gave me a good run at it before deciding it was theirs.  


  1. isnt that wonderful, Liz. I had a similar experience with these guys and carrot tops. they seem to go for the parsley family in general. and like your parsley, all of my carrot tops were mowed flat, but late enough in the season so the carrots didn't mind at all.
    They never came back the next year, so Im assuming the weather wasn't quite to their liking.

  2. Handsome chappie. Now I know why one was inching his way along my fence. Looking for Parsley for heaven's sake ! If I had known I would have put some out for him.


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