by Donna Lewis
There has been lots of activity in the pipevine area of my garden.
The first baby pipevine swallowtails (Battus philenor) of the year. These are the black form of the larva. There is also a red form. I will probably have both later on in the month.
This is a species of butterfly that is common around Milam County, so, I am sure there is a native pipevine that it uses as its host plant. My goal this year is to find it, and take some photos.
You will know this butterfly by the blue-metallic hind wings.
The pipevine plant I have in my garden is a naturalized version from Brazil. It is apparently safe (not invasive). It is hard to come by, because the caterpillars will eat it to the ground in 24 hours. Thankfully, it has grown back 4 to 5 times each year. This plant has a toxic ingredient like milkweed to protect the adult butterfly.
I really like these little guys. They do not sting you and are interesting to watch.
Who are you gardening for?