Giant Swallowtail Caterpillars

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!)

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3 thoughts on “Giant Swallowtail Caterpillars

  1. Moosie says:

    They better be glad I didn’t see them first. They looked like bird poop, until you showed me what they were. Very interesting little guys!

  2. Patrice says:

    Cool pix!! I had to laugh at your last comment – getting excited about something other than diapers. But, that caterpillar looked a bit like something your son could probably produce in his diaper!!

  3. […] + John’s Recipe from Lady Bug Natural’s. + Asclepias tuberosa and swamp milkweed + Giant Swallowtail Caterpillar on our citrus + Oregon Sugarpod II & Sugar Snap peas from Botanical Interests. The first is […]

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