Rushing the Season

Pipevine Swallowtail

Pipevine Swallowtail
Photo: Ben Alkire

It is still winter in Indiana with snow on the ground but Spring will be here soon. Many gardeners bring plants indoors for the winter and set them outside during the summer. The outdoor plants can have insects on them and can lead to surprises. A friend sent me this picture of a Pipevine Swallowtail that emerged in his house in March. It is too cold to release outside it is unlikely to live long enough to find a mate in late spring. Last Fall, the house plants were resting in a garden near garden rue, a host plant for Pipevine Swallowtails. The fully developed caterpillar likely left the rue and pupated on one the plants that was brought indoors. Swallowtails enter diapause that does not break until both temperatures warm and daylight increases. Those conditions were obviously met for this butterfly. Some insect surprises are not as pleasant as this one.

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
This entry was posted in behavior, by jjneal, Environment. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Rushing the Season

  1. Pingback: Rushing the Season – Entomo Planet

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