Birding Blog Archives

September 20th, 2008

Giant Swallowtails

Melanie woke me up with a “photo emergency” – a pair of Giant Swallowtails was mating in the courtyard.

A constant presence in the garden these past few days in threes and fours, we’ve also noticed lots of their caterpillars, which use the age old camouflage of looking like a fair sized noggin of bird poo. The caterpillars are occasionally emitting a nasty-looking green liquid. I don’t actually know what this is, so if anyone does, please post a comment.

Anyway, these citrus lovers are very keen on our grapefruit tree, and in particular our lemon tree. Wanting to get the amorous couple away from our increasingly interested cats, Melanie scooped them up and put them under the new lemon tree in the new courtyard. I’ve already seen a Giant Swallowtail laying eggs in this tree (ten minutes after I planted it!) so the new courtyard should be well and truly populated by now.

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