Gardening for Butterflies, Birds and Bees forum: Giant Swallowtail Life Cycle

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Name: Cat
Edinburg, TX
in the deep south tip of Texas
Image
TexasPuddyPrint
Mar 4, 2010 9:49 PM CST
Giant Swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes) life cycle

Larval hosts: Rutaceae - citrus family

Ornamental citrus (orange, tangerine, lemon, lime, grapefruit)
Baretta (Helietta parvifolia)
Colima, Lime Prickly-Ash, Wild Lime, Cat's Claw (Zanthoxylum Fagara)
Hercules Club (Zanthoxylum clava-herculis)
Hoptree, Stinking Ash, Wafer Ash (Ptelea trifoliata)
Prickly Lime Ash, Tickle Tongue Tree, Toothache Tree, Texas Hercules Club (Zanthoxylum hirsutum)
Texas Torchwood (Amyris texana)
Rue (ruta graveolens)

Hope the information and photos are helpful. If anyone has photos of Giant Swallowtail eggs, caterpillars, chrysalids or butterfly - please add on and share.

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My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance.

http://community.webshots.com/user/TraylorCatPuddyPrint

Name: Cat
Edinburg, TX
in the deep south tip of Texas
Image
TexasPuddyPrint
Mar 4, 2010 9:50 PM CST
Must start off with a mating pair!!!

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My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance.

http://community.webshots.com/user/TraylorCatPuddyPrint

Name: Cat
Edinburg, TX
in the deep south tip of Texas
Image
TexasPuddyPrint
Mar 4, 2010 9:51 PM CST
Giant Swallowtail egg on tangerine leaf.

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My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance.

http://community.webshots.com/user/TraylorCatPuddyPrint

Name: Cat
Edinburg, TX
in the deep south tip of Texas
Image
TexasPuddyPrint
Mar 4, 2010 9:52 PM CST
Another Giant Swallowtail egg on tangerine leaf.

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My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance.

http://community.webshots.com/user/TraylorCatPuddyPrint

Name: Cat
Edinburg, TX
in the deep south tip of Texas
Image
TexasPuddyPrint
Mar 4, 2010 9:52 PM CST
Giant Swallowtail - first instar caterpillar

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My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance.

http://community.webshots.com/user/TraylorCatPuddyPrint

Name: Cat
Edinburg, TX
in the deep south tip of Texas
Image
TexasPuddyPrint
Mar 4, 2010 9:53 PM CST
Giant Swallowtail - second instar caterpillar - starting to resemble bird poo

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My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance.

http://community.webshots.com/user/TraylorCatPuddyPrint

Name: Cat
Edinburg, TX
in the deep south tip of Texas
Image
TexasPuddyPrint
Mar 4, 2010 9:54 PM CST
Giant Swallowtail - third instar caterpillar - yep, good camouflage pretending to be bird poo or a snake!!!

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My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance.

http://community.webshots.com/user/TraylorCatPuddyPrint

Name: Cat
Edinburg, TX
in the deep south tip of Texas
Image
TexasPuddyPrint
Mar 4, 2010 9:56 PM CST
Giant Swallowtail - fourth instar caterpillar - I love the feel of these big instars. They are so soft and smooth to the touch - just so long as you don't actually touch bird poo thinking it's a caterpillar!!! Been there...done that!!! Note to self: Self, never, never forget to go out into the backyard without your eyeglasses!!!

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My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance.

http://community.webshots.com/user/TraylorCatPuddyPrint

Name: Cat
Edinburg, TX
in the deep south tip of Texas
Image
TexasPuddyPrint
Mar 4, 2010 9:57 PM CST
Giant Swallowtail - last instar being to pupate - and yes, sometimes they pupate in the most unusual of places!

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My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance.

http://community.webshots.com/user/TraylorCatPuddyPrint

Name: Cat
Edinburg, TX
in the deep south tip of Texas
Image
TexasPuddyPrint
Mar 4, 2010 10:03 PM CST
Giant Swallowtail - chrysalis

By the way, this was a Forbes Silkmoth cocoon on Colima (Prickly Lime Ash) - which is also a host tree for Giant Swallowtails in south Texas. We sometimes see caterpillars of the Forbes Silkmoth, Giant Swallowtail butterfly and the Sickle-winged Skipper butterfly on the same tree.

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My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance.

http://community.webshots.com/user/TraylorCatPuddyPrint

Name: Cat
Edinburg, TX
in the deep south tip of Texas
Image
TexasPuddyPrint
Mar 4, 2010 10:04 PM CST
Giant Swallowtail also like to mudpuddle.

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My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance.

http://community.webshots.com/user/TraylorCatPuddyPrint

Name: Cat
Edinburg, TX
in the deep south tip of Texas
Image
TexasPuddyPrint
Mar 4, 2010 10:32 PM CST
Forgot to mention - Swallowtail caterpillars have a fleshy forked organ called an osmetrium. It is usually yellow, orange or reddish in color and it looks like fleshy horns at the top of it's head. When they are disturbed the osmetrium protrudes and emits a pungent odor similiar to the smell of anise. It's supposed to scare or ward off predators.

This caterpillar is on native Colima - which has thorns!!! However, when I'm looking over the citrus trees in my back yard I'll brush my hand over the leaves or tap the branchs - the smell helps helps me pinpoint where a caterpillar is hiding!!!



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My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance.

http://community.webshots.com/user/TraylorCatPuddyPrint

Name: Cat
Edinburg, TX
in the deep south tip of Texas
Image
TexasPuddyPrint
Mar 4, 2010 10:35 PM CST
Giant Swallowtail - ventral view

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My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance.

http://community.webshots.com/user/TraylorCatPuddyPrint

Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
Hi Everybody!! Let us talk native.
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Butterflies Garden Ideas: Master Level Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Birds Cat Lover Xeriscape
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frostweed
Mar 5, 2010 8:16 AM CST
Cat, you are such a wonderful teacher Hurray!
Is teaching your profession? If not, it should be. Smiling
Wildflowers are the Smiles of Nature.
Gardening with Texas Native Plants and Wildflowers.
Name: Sheila F
Fort Worth TX (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member Tip Photographer I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Texas Butterflies Garden Art
Ponds Dog Lover Hummingbirder Birds The WITWIT Badge Region: United States of America
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Sheila_FW
Mar 6, 2010 6:52 AM CST
Keep them coming Cat the pictures are wonderful.
Name: Linda
Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member Salvias Herbs Bluebonnets Native Plants and Wildflowers Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Forum moderator Purslane Hummingbirder Cat Lover Butterflies Birds
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LindaTX8
Mar 6, 2010 1:27 PM CST
Yes, it's great! And I hope the butterflies make a come-back this year here. Last year wasn't very good. But I'm afraid the cold winter could affect the butterfly population this year. We'll see.
I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. E. B.White
Integrity can never be taken. It can only be given, and I wasn't going to give it up to these people. Gary Mowad
Name: Sheila F
Fort Worth TX (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member Tip Photographer I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Texas Butterflies Garden Art
Ponds Dog Lover Hummingbirder Birds The WITWIT Badge Region: United States of America
Image
Sheila_FW
Aug 7, 2011 7:03 PM CST
I have seen GST at least one or two a week. I did raise a few early in the season too. It is August in TX right now and very hot and dry. Hope to have some more bfs as the weather cools off.
Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
Hi Everybody!! Let us talk native.
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Butterflies Garden Ideas: Master Level Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Birds Cat Lover Xeriscape
Image
frostweed
Aug 7, 2011 7:45 PM CST
Yes, i have raise 4 this year, and have seen eggs on the Hercule's club, but they disappear very quickly, more predators than prey, I guess.
Wildflowers are the Smiles of Nature.
Gardening with Texas Native Plants and Wildflowers.
Name: Linda
Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member Salvias Herbs Bluebonnets Native Plants and Wildflowers Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Forum moderator Purslane Hummingbirder Cat Lover Butterflies Birds
Image
LindaTX8
Aug 7, 2011 7:46 PM CST
I miss all those pics Cat used to post.
I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. E. B.White
Integrity can never be taken. It can only be given, and I wasn't going to give it up to these people. Gary Mowad
Name: Sheila F
Fort Worth TX (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member Tip Photographer I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Texas Butterflies Garden Art
Ponds Dog Lover Hummingbirder Birds The WITWIT Badge Region: United States of America
Image
Sheila_FW
Aug 12, 2011 3:30 PM CST
Where is cat?? I have been wondering.

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