Friday, September 16, 2016

Too Many Cats on the Fennel?

I counted 19 caterpillars - eastern black swallowtails, I think - on the bronze fennel (Foeniculum vulgare 'Purpureum'). You can see 13 or 14 of them in the photo below if you look carefully...

Here's a close-up to make things easier...

How many caterpillars can survive on a single fennel plant? I worry about whether these cats will have enough to eat, but since I only have the one fennel plant growing in my garden (I direct sowed a packet of seeds and only one plant grew to maturity), I don't think I have any options to relocate any of the cats.

Hopefully they'll all make it to maturity and will be able to pupate successfully! So far, there's still plenty of foliage, but there are also lots of hungry caterpillars!


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