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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Whats Eating My Dill??

My friend was telling me about the cool caterpillars that dessimated her dill the other night.  She had decided that they were pretty, so she did not remove them from the dill plant.  They have since disappeared.  From her description of the caterpillar, I predict that they are off awaiting the moment when they become....Black Swallowtail Butterflies...They will also eat your parsley, so make sure there is enough to go around!

I know that you have your dill set aside to use in cooking, but let's be honest, maybe  you are a better chef than I, but I certainly have enough dill to share with some caterpillars that are going to become beautiful butterflies.  

The other common caterpillar "pest" on dill....Tomato Hornworm . It sounds terrible doesn't it?  Look how cute he is though!

Hummingbird Moth
When the Tomato Hornworm grows up he'll become a Hummingbird Moth   (Hemaris thysbe) also known as the Sphinx Moth...Note I used the quote on pest because to me, they are not a pest at all, in fact these insects are what I am gardening for.  I shamelessly attract insects so that they will keep some of the other insects in check and be a great attractant to local birds in the area.  I feel sorry for the insects, but planting plants that insects like in your garden is a great way to have a bird feeder that does not need to be refilled!

Black Swallowtail
 If you are gardening for wildlife (and cooking) dill is a great addition to your garden! When you see these butterflies flying around, you will know that they have escaped predation and are looking beautiful! 

The Trivia Question of the Blog.. Can you name the plants that the butterflies are near?

1 comment:

  1. Hmmm, monarda fistulosa in the hummingbird moth photo, and I would guess new your iron weed in the swallowtail photo. I knew about the swallowtail caterpillars, but we get the hummingbird moths on our monarda and I never knew they can from hornworms. Thanks for the post.


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