Over the weekend Chris was out in the yard and came inside to tell me that I had to go out and check something that was on the citrus with him. It didn’t take me but a few seconds to decide he was probably showing me a caterpillar that was munching on the citrus. At the time I couldn’t remember which caterpillar used citrus as its host plant and I had to look it up later. Sure enough my hunch was correct! There were several small caterpillar nibbling on our citrus trees.
I’m sure that in a citrus grove this would be considered a pest, but considering that the caterpillar metamorphs into a beautiful butterfly and pollinator, we’re friends with our guests. Papilio cresphontes is the scientific name for the giant swallowtail. I’ll have to check back over the next few days to see the new instars of the caterpillars as they make their way to becoming a butterfly.
More information on this awesome species!
(I may have gotten a huge nature high just by seeing something other than diapers while photographing the caterpillar!)