<< Previous Next >>

Citrus swallowtail

Citrus swallowtail
Photo Information
Copyright: Justin Welbergen (jawel) (29)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-11-19
Categories: Insects
Exposure: f/4.5
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2009-08-04 18:12
Viewed: 4361
Points: 6
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
From Wikipedia:

Papilio demodocus, also known as the citrus swallowtail, is a large swallowtail butterfly common to sub-Saharan Africa. It is a pest species, the caterpillar feeding on citrus trees.

Life cycle
Citrus swallowtails pass through approximately three generations per year. Eggs are laid singly on citrus tree leaves.

Female butterflies lay their eggs singly on citrus leaves. After about six days, the egg hatches into an immature larva.

Immature larva
The immature larvae are black, yellow, and white with spikes. Their coloration provides effective camouflage, as they resemble bird droppings. They grow to a length of 10 or 15 mm before changing into mature larvae.

Mature larva
Mature larvae are green with white or pink markings and eyespots. They grow to a maximum length of about 45 mm.

Mature caterpillars lack the camouflage of their immature state. Instead, when threatened by a bird or other predator, they produce a forked, orange-coloured organ known as an osmeterium. The organ emits a strong smell which acts as a discouragement to the predator.

The caterpillars attach themselves to branches with silk, transforming into pupae. They remain in the pupal form for 23 weeks before emerging as adults.

Adult butterflies have black and yellow markings with red and blue eyespots. Female butterflies tend to be larger than males.

Natural enemies
Citrus swallowtail eggs and pupae are known to be parasitised by certain species of parasitic wasp, notably Ooencyrtus (eggs) and Pteromalus puparum (pupae).

tcr has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • thor68 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 795 W: 138 N: 1319] (5674)
  • [2009-08-04 23:40]

"flight PD01 prepare for landing." *g* great inflight-shot, not so easy to get a butterfly in that pose,
love the composition and the details. well done & take care, thor.

a beautiful moment caught as it approaches the flower

  • Great 
  • shree Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 49 W: 13 N: 71] (276)
  • [2009-08-05 2:33]

Nice in-flight shot of this butterfly, Justin! Your shutter would have worked really fast to capture a non-blurred image. The point of view is very unusual one. Nice vertical composition too..

  • Great 
  • tcr Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 158 W: 8 N: 538] (3384)
  • [2009-08-05 8:36]

Hello Justin.
It looks like a bird flying.
Beautiful light and background.

Calibration Check