Sharon Stiteler blogs as Birdchick – she’s an avid birder and beekeeper, and is raising black swallowtail butterflies. She has some great videos of caterpillar activity – the top video is a caterpillar shedding its skin, the next one is a caterpillar sticking out its stink horns, a defense mechanism.

Apparently raising black swallowtail butterflies is not a walk in the park – Naturespeak has a post about a parasitic wasp that will lay eggs in the caterpillars – the caterpillars go about their business making chrysalids, but the wasp maggots eat the caterpillar and eventually emerge from the chrysalids as adult wasps.

If you’d like to try your hand at butterfly ranching, you can go to Butterfly School – virtually – they have an online guide that covers several different species.