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Papilio machaon larva

Papilio machaon larva
Photo Information
Copyright: Stavros Markopoulos (markop) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 17 W: 0 N: 27] (111)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-10-12
Categories: Insects
Exposure: f/2.8, 1/500 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Caterpillars [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-12-22 7:33
Viewed: 4906
Points: 16
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Caterpillar of the Yellow Swallowtail butterfly (Papilio machaon).

kingdom: Animalia
phylum: Arthropoda
subphylum: Hexapoda
class: Insecta
order: Lepidoptera
superfamily: Papilionoidea
family: Papilionidae
subfamily: Papilioninae

This is a caterpillar of the Yellow Swallowtail butterfly (Papilio machaon). It was in its 5th instar (the last before pupation) and measured 35mm. I found it on one of its favorite host plants, a fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), right after the rain (that's why it's wet!). It will look like this when it turns into a butterfly: my Papilio machaon photo on TrekNature.

The Swallowtail caterpillar spends the first part of its life with the appearance of a bird dropping, an effective defence against predators. As the caterpillar grows larger it becomes green with black and orange markings (as seen in the photo). The caterpillar still has a defence against predators in the form of an organ called an osmeterium which consists of retractable, fleshy projections behind its head that can release a foul smell. The Yellow Swallowtail is one of the biggest butterflies found on the island of Crete, reaching a wingspan of up to 10cm. This very common species is present throughout the entire Palearctic region through Russia to China and Japan (including the Himalayas and Taiwan) and across into Alaska and Canada. In Asia it is reported as far South as certain oases in Saudi Arabia and Oman and the high mountains of Yemen. Unlike other swallowtails, this species specialises in using plants of family Umbelliferae, like wild carrot (Daucus carota), wild angelica (Angelica sylvestris), fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) and hogweeds (Heracleum spp).
- Source: Wikipedia

Click here for more photos of the same species in my Flickr photostream.

horia, fiyo, ramthakur, Argus, nainnain, rimas has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To ramthakur: Thanksmarkop 1 12-22 17:25
To Argus: Re: osmeteriummarkop 1 12-22 17:19
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • fiyo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1053 W: 5 N: 3475] (15161)
  • [2006-12-22 9:57]

Hi Stavro,
Excellent macro !
Very good lighting, sharp and detailed image, very nice colours. TFS

This is the second caterpillar of the same butterfly I have seen in the last 5 minutes, Stavros. Almost the same posture except that the direction of your diagonal positioning is just opposite.
Very good POV, DOF, colours and composition.

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2006-12-22 11:54]
  • [+]

Hello Stavros,
Fine presentation of this machaon caterpillar in all respects.
Normally the fully grown caterpillar can show an orange projection that gives off a scent, called the osmametrium. I wonder if this was what was about to happen wher the bubble is?
TFS and best wishes, Ivan

Hi Stavros,
Nice shot...
Good colors..

magnifique ces couleurs sur ce BG flou, originalité, bien vu, bonne réussite

Good evening Stavros,
very beautiful caterpillar with its original colors.
Cheer, Happy feast.

  • Great 
  • magal Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 224 W: 0 N: 313] (1251)
  • [2006-12-25 15:56]

Hi Stavros,
Beautifully composed shot, with excellent detail, and fantastic colours. Well blurred BG puts more emphasis on the subject

  • Great 
  • milas Gold Star Critiquer [C: 191 W: 0 N: 10] (173)
  • [2006-12-26 13:54]

Selam Stavros;
Güzel bir yakınçekim...tebrikler

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