Line Dancers

Sony A77II
Minolta 200mm macro
ISO 800, 1/50 @ f16
A somewhat flawed capture of two pipevine swallowtail caterpillars but one I thought interesting enough to post. The larger lower critter was pretty agitated and demonstrating the kind of behavior just prior to heading off the host plant to find a place to form its chrysalis. They seemed to be grappling for a minute or so which reminded me of a dance line. All comments welcome. >-))>

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1 Like

Bill, it’s always fun to catch a specific behavior. It’s also normal for such a catch not to be a perfect photo. This looks very good, with the heads of both caterpillars nicely sharp and the body of the one on the left adding interest to the left side of the image. Pipevines are endangered locally, so while I see one or two most summers, I’ve never seen a caterpillar. They are nicely dramatic with those orange bumps.

Bill, what a wonderful find, and capture. I would be thrilled to have witnessed seeing these two at once, and to have camera in hand to capture this shot. I agree with Mark, the heads of both are sharp, and to me that is what matters. Nice behavior shot.

Mark: I don’t know if they’re endangered here but it has been several years since we have had any caterpillars despite the fact that we keep host plants available. I’m hoping to find a chrysalis and maybe catch a birth.

Hi Bill, such a neat photo! Those little guys are pretty ugly right now but will be beautiful after their chrysalis time. You were fortunate to catch this pair while exhibiting that behavior. The green leaves provide a nice contrast with their black bodies and hints at their habitat also. Thanks for sharing!