The Adventures of Oodle and Doodle

I remembered that I had some herbs that I’m supposed to be watering outside. So a week ago I went out to water my plants. And it became the day of bugs.

When I went to our water spiget and turned it on, the water was taking a while to flow. And then out pops this HUGE, HAIRY, legged creature. I may have wigged out a little. So I again went to turn the water on, and ANOTHER HUGE, HAIRY legged creature popped out. They were carpenter bees, which made me feel slightly better, instead of giant icky spiders.

I was a little on edge when I walked over to my plants. Sabrina was playing with our neighbor and I went to go look at my herbs and I see two fat caterpillars on my parsley plant. I jumped again when I saw two crawly bugs, but was fine after seeing they were caterpillars.


So much eating… So much pooping (or frassing – caterpillar pooping)


I was intrigued by these caterpillars on my parsley plant. And after some google research, figured out they were Black Swallowtail butterfly caterpillars. The butterfly lays eggs on specific host plants – parsley, dill, or carrot. And the caterpillars eat that plant, and nothing else, and then wander off to form a chrysalis.


Dave got my old beta fish aquarium from the highest shelf in the kitchen and I went about making it suitable for caterpillars.

The caterpillars were in the last instar (which means phase – look at me using caterpillar lingo). And I learned quite a bit watching them for the 3 days before they went to chrysalis. 1. Caterpillars eat a lot. 2. Caterpillars poop a lot.

The whole process was very fascinating for me. Sabrina showed mild interest and liked to watch them eat. I became totally engrossed in the amazing process of caterpillar to butterfly.

I learned that caterpillars have a huge diarrhea poop right before they make their chrysalis. So when I noticed it, I was yelling upstairs to Dave, “Hey!!! Our caterpillars had the big POOP! YAAAAAY!!!”

The caterpillars wandered for almost 24 hours and then settled on one of the provided branches to form a chrysalis.

I learned that caterpillars literally become a chrysalis. They shed their outer skin and then they are a chrysalis. And I was lucky enough to catch it on video. I was in the middle of giving Ezra a bottle when I realized what was happening. I put Ezra down (he was fine, didn’t even fuss about it) and recorded the whole thing.


Attached to the branch with a silk thread, ready to shed it’s skin



Just shed it’s skin, officially in chrysalis form













And now we wait. In 7-14 days, we’re going to have BUTTERFLIES!


About 12 hours after forming a chrysalis


Update: We had a 50% success rate with the caterpillars. One made it to a butterfly. The other one made it to chrysalis and then…. made more of a permanent change where he went to the great butterfly garden in the sky.




One comment to The Adventures of Oodle and Doodle

  • Amy M  says:

    This is so amazing! And you weren’t even upset about them eating your parsley!