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Photo#464552
Anise Swallowtail Caterpillar - Papilio zelicaon

Anise Swallowtail Caterpillar - Papilio zelicaon
Mountain Meadows Reservoir next to Westwood, Lassen County, California, USA
July 20, 2006
When I lived in San Diego County I often would see this species on sweet fennel plants, and I had learned that if I touched a caterpillar they would rear up and secrete a smell via this orange-colored forked gland. The smell was somewhat similar to the aroma of the crushed fennel leaves.

So, having found this specimen on some water hemlock, here at Mountain Meadows Reservoir, I, with camera ready, touched this specimen with a pine needle, and got this photo. There was no apparent smell, probably due to the non-aromatic nature of water hemlock.

After thirty years of living here, I have yet to even see one adult Anise Swallowtail Butterfly adult!

Images of this individual: tag all
Anise Swallowtail Caterpillar - Papilio zelicaon Anise Swallowtail Caterpillar - Papilio zelicaon

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Moved from Anise Swallowtail.

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