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Photo#172055
Black Swallowtail molt? - Papilio polyxenes

Black Swallowtail molt? - Papilio polyxenes
DeSoto, Dallas County, Texas, USA
November 30, 1999
It appears that the nearest one is shedding its outer covering. These were both doing the same thing at the same time, and both had disappeard by the next day--although I continued to find adult caterpillars on the parsley. However, I was disappointed that I never saw any make it to chrysalis stage. I assumed that predators got them as I do not use pesticides. But I've been puzzled since I haven't seen any similar pictures--so you might be right!

Images of this individual: tag all
Black Swallowtail molt? - Papilio polyxenes Black Swallowtail molt? - Papilio polyxenes

Moved
Moved from Black Swallowtail.

Moved
Moved from Butterflies.

died
It appeared these caterpillars died due to some kind of retroviral infection. I often see that where there is population explosion in a given area and the stress causes these caterpillars to simply die out in order to thin out the populations.

 
Thanks to you both--
Virus or parasite, it makes me think that I want to place my host plants at some distance from each other when I plant in a couple of weeks.

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