Citrus Swallowtail .
After the Butterfly has laid its egg the newly hatched larvae soon looks like this …
Bird droppings! , As a rule, it is in plain sight, on top of a leaf, as you, and presumably any potential predator, would expect a bird dropping to be . The perfect disguise!
(The photograph below was taken in 2016. The larvae is on a leaf of one of the potted lemon trees)
Later it changes into a caterpillar, and looks like this …
Brand New Caterpillar of the Citrus Swallowtail on a Rue Plant.
I discovered this gorgeous caterpillar first thing this morning and wondered why it was on one of the rue plants instead of one of the lemon trees or the orange tree.
Well, I found out just now that, Rue is part of the Citrus family!
So, if you ever come across the first larval stage or the caterpillar munching away on the leaves of your lemon tree you can move it to the rue. And if you don’t have rue in the garden, now you have a good reason to plant some, as it will encourage swallowtail butterflies.
I’ll follow the transition from caterpillar to butterfly … if I can, and post photos as we go along.
Meantime, for those who may have forgotten. I came across a Citrus Swallowtail a while back just as it emerged from its pupae …
How gorgeous is this?