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Giant swallowtail cat - Papilio cresphontes

Giant swallowtail cat - Papilio cresphontes
Tavares, Lake County, Florida, USA
April 10, 2006
Feeding on a Florida native plant "Hercules Club"

look very much lik
Looks very much like that. Except yellower. Pic taken from my phone so not as clear as is. Only guess it will be a differs yet similar shade. Like a snow flake.

Hercules Club
There are two plants called Hercules Club: Zanthoxylum clava-hercules and Aralia spinosa. Fortunately, only the Zanthoxylum is listed as a host plant for Papilio cresphontes

and the Xanthoxylum
is a member of the citrus family which is why cresphontes likes it, while Aralia is not.

Great shot of Osmeterium.

Looks annoyed with you
How did it smell?

I didn't notice a bad odor - just a sweet smell. Thought it was the plant at first. How bad should it have been?

Black Swallowtails
P.polyxenes larvae have a similar organ. I find the smell rather pleasnt, a sweet perfume. One way I have been successful in finding the larvae is to walk through the food plant (old fields, roadsides) and 'look out' for the smell. It seems that brushing against the larvae causes them to 'display'. Then you can start searching the immediate area for the caterpillar.
Incidentally, the range of the Black Swallowtail in NB is much larger than the distribution shown in the Kaufman Guide.

Read Brian's description
on of Osmeterium. Great shot, by the way. Brian will be jealous!

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