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“Make Mine Dill”

Paul Nelson

"Make mine dill" — said the black swallowtail caterpillars (Papilio polyxenes) crawling over the dill in our garden boxes. They're welcome to have it; we can't possibly consume these monster dill plants, beyond what we use for seasoning and salads. What amazes me is how the female butterflies can smell dill over great distances, and so deposit their eggs on the right plants.

Posted by Paul Nelson on Tuesday, June 26, 2018

“Make mine dill” — said the black swallowtail caterpillars (Papilio polyxenes) crawling over the dill in our garden boxes. They’re welcome to have it; we can’t possibly consume these monster dill plants, beyond what we use for seasoning and salads.

What amazes me is how the female butterflies can smell dill over great distances, and so deposit their eggs on the right plants. A friend of mine points out that these Lepidoptera “can detect host plant volatiles via their antennae at concentrations of less than 10 parts per billion.”