Florida Nature Pictures

Giant Swallowtail Butterfly Life Cycle
Papilio cresphonte
(Orange Dog)

Giant Swallowtail egg

This is the egg of a Giant Swallowtail Butterfly found on a Meyer Lemon Tree.

Giant Swallowtail Caterpilllar

This first instar caterpillar is only about 5mm long.

Giant Swallowtail Caterpillar

When I first say this little guy I though it was a bird dropping
on a leaf on my Meyer Lemon Tree!
He was about 2.5 cm long.
Giant Swallowtail Caterpillar hosts plants are citrus.
The shape and coloring are excellent camouflage.


Giant Swallowtail Caterpillar

The projections are a defense mechanism against predators.


Giant Swallowtail Caterpillar

Here he is about a week after I first found him.
He is now about 3.5 cm long.
This is probably a forth or fifth instar.

Giant Swallowtail Caterpillar

Here he is getting ready to go into the Pupal Stage.
He attaches himself with a weblike silk thread to the twig.
This species also supports itself head upwards
with a silken girdle.

Giant Swallowtail Pupa

Here he is after 24 hours.
He is actually moving inside!
The wiggling motion is a defense mechanism to scare
away predators trying to eat him.


Giant Swallowtail Pupa   Giant Swallowtail Pupa

Here he is a week later.
The pupa has darkened and looks like a piece of wood.

Giant Swallowtail Pupa

This is the day before the butterfly eclosed.
You can see some color patterns of the wings.

Giant Swallowtail Butterfly

Finally on 10/6/09, the butterfly emerged.
Unfortunately, it crawled into a corner
that was too small and the wings dried all crumbled.
This poor little guy will never be able to fly.

Giant Swallowtail Butterfly

Here is a Giant Swallowtail I photographed on my Papaya Plant
in the backyard.

Giant Swallowtail Butterfly    Giant Swallowtail Butterfly   Giant Swallowtail Butterfly

Here are some views of the undersides of the wings.

Giant Swallowtail Caterpillar
Papilio cresphonte
Papilionidae Family



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