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Lifespan Timeline..

How long is each stage in the lifespan of an Anise Swallowtail? The times below are based on our experience with Anise Swallowtail butterflies and seem to be in general agreement with sources we have found on the web.

Egg: requires about a week to 10 days to hatch.

Caterpillar: molts 4 times, and requires about 2-3 weeks to reach the roaming stage, depending on food availability and ambient temperature (warmer -> faster). After finding a surface or twig on which to pupate, the caterpillar attaches itself with its silk, then after 2-3 days sheds its skin for the last time as it becomes a pupa (chrysalis).

Chrysalis: the minimum time until emergence of the butterfly is about 10 days, but may easily be 2-3 weeks even in the summer, and if the pupa over-winters, it will be several months---until warm and sunny Spring weather returns. In general, the warmer and brighter the conditions (that is, the less winter-like), the sooner the butterfly will emerge.

Butterfly: we have kept a wing-damaged butterfly alive for 6 weeks (1.5 months) by feeding it, but in the wild with predators and other dangers, the average lifespan may well be considerably shorter (~ 1month). Our other wing-damaged butterflies have lasted 2-4 weeks.