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Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar

Posted by misssherry Z8/9MS (My Page) on
Fri, Jun 21, 13 at 13:03

My two spicebush swallowtail cats stay inside their nests most of the time, but when I passed by the cage today, one was outside eating. It's at that stage where it's still brown, but you can see the yellow spots on the back of the head -

 photo 2013SBSTCat_zps6fa79809.jpg

I hope one of these is a male and one is a female, so, hopefully, they'll mate and lay more eggs on my sassafras, which is plentiful, and spicebush which is scanty but growing!

Sherry


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar

Wonderful shot Sherry! Looks good and healthy. I don't recall that mine had yellow spots that were quite as bright as that.


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RE: Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar

I put a fresh branch of sassafras in the cage for the ever growing spicebush caterpillars -

 photo 2013GreenSBSTCat_zpsb79d10ac.jpg

Sherry


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RE: Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar

I smile every time I see a photo of these little guys. Even though I know better, the 'little face' seems so real and is so comical.

Great shot, Sherry. Thank you for sharing.

Mary


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RE: Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar

That's so cute. I've always thought they look like little toy caterpillars. :) I can see why predators might be fooled by those spots. Even I have trouble not thinking of them as actual eyes.


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RE: Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar

They are very striking--and wonderful pics, Sherry.

I have had great difficulty finding a host plant for them in my garden. I'm too far south for Sassafras; I do have a spicebush that is fairly large, but they don't seem to use it very much. I do see them around though, so they must be using something for larval food.


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RE: Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar

I think they use camphor tree and red bay/swamp bay (like palamedes swallowtails) in Florida, Tom. Camphor tree grows here, but it's not very common. Which reminds me, there's a camphor tree growing on the property where my dogs' groomers operate - I need to check it out for eggs and/or cats. I don't know if the locals use it or not.

Sherry


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RE: Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar

Cuteness galore!


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RE: Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar

The spicebush cats have long since pupated, one chrysalis is brown and the other one green. I expect them to emerge pretty soon.

I found one little bitty spicebush swallowtail caterpillar in its nest on the other side of the property today. There was another nest with nothing in it. I figured it got eaten by a spider or something, or maybe the nest was the first one this cat made? I don't really think so. I'll check back later in case the other cat was somewhere else on the plant and I missed it.

Sherry


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RE: Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar

The brown one emerged today, a big boy! He flew out of the cage so quickly I couldn't get his picture.

Hopefully, I'll be able to get a picture of the one in the green chrysalis when it emerges.

My three little cats are eating and pooping, so all is well there.

Sherry


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