Over the last year or two we’ve planted out several new understory trees on the side yard, including several Hercules’ club, Zanthoxylum clava-herculis. Hercules’ club are one of the native host plants for giant swallowtail butterflies and I’d wanted get some established for years before we finally buckled down and bought some trees. Previously, and really still, they can be found on our citrus plants (same Family – Rutaceae), but now we have an alternative to move the caterpillars to if we see too many leave are being noshed by these little friends of ours. I dug out my macro lens for these photos and after editing the photos I took at the same time as these, I will definitely be getting that lens out more this summer!
I never did follow up to see if I could find any chrysalides from these but I’m sure they managed to meander off somewhere to eclose. It’s been a while since I’ve seen any giant swallowtail butterflies flitting through the yard but they usually make a return sometime in the summer. I’ll keep my eyes open for more cute caterpillars!