Freshly hatched

in Fascinating Insects8 months ago

citrus swallowtail2.jpg

I got lucky while watering my garden this morning, I found a freshly-hatched Citrus Swallowtail, Papilio demodocus. These large butterflies are found all over Sub-Saharan Africa and as their name suggests, the larvae eat citrus leaves. The female lays a single egg and I saw one flying around the lemon tree in Mid-December and noticed the caterpillars on the tree but left them alone because they aren't really large and destructive.


I noticed this pupa a few days ago but not the one in the succulents. It seems the caterpillar takes a walk away from the tree when they are ready to undergo metamorphosis.

The empty pupa after the butterfly vacated it. Seems almost impossible that it fitted in there.


I think this is a female butterfly, based on the large abdomen. Although the wings have unfurled, she was unable to fly yet when I found her, which was lucky, normally they don't stay still long enough to photograph.

citrus swallowtail.jpg

She was stuck with eying me nervously and slowly flapping her wings as I took some pictures.

open wings.jpg

These beauties are welcome to come and eat my lemon tree leaves


Good to see you post again. Sorry I missed the up vote.!

Lil' Guy say's Hello to the Catlady.!!

Lil Guy 3 20210126.jpg

Awww! Hello to you, Lil' Guy and the rest of the kits

Nice to see your post @nikv. I hope your days are going well😎

Thank you! Right now my life has been a little too drama-filled to get around to posting: Apart from working like a dog all lockdown, it seems that one of my cats was stung by a scorpion a week ago, leaving him in huge pain, drooling and unable to eat or drink until he went to the vet for a shot of synthetic morphine, poor guy. Luckily that's all in the past and I got some butterflies instead.
How are you doing?

Nice to hear from you. Feel no guilt about lack of posting during life's busy times😎

Poor kitty... glad to hear he recovered. One of mine got very sick and was near death recently. She refused food for nine days and water for about three or four, till I coaxed her to drink.

I thought it was the end but sneaked nutrients and herbal meds into her colloidal-silver water. She recovered sort of miraculously after two weird looking blackish bowel movements...?!?!?!?

She's eleven years old- old for some. Seems fine now though. Getting her weight and strength back.

Sorry to hear that.
Black stools are indicative of gastrointestinal bleeding. That is, it occurs in the stomach or small intestine and the blood is digested and black. So from there, she could have eaten something that caused her injury or she had an ulcer. Adding Slippery elm bark powder to her food will help with healing. I hope that she continues to improve but if it happens again, let the vet check her out for an ulcer?

Thanks @nikv. Yes, I know black stools can be from gastrointestinal bleeding, but hers were not. She is doing much better now; eating normally and gaining weight with strength back quickly.

That's good news

Manually curated by EwkaW from the @qurator Team. Keep up the good work!

Thank you @ewkaw!

You're welcome :)
The wings have such cool shape on the last photo.

Yes, they are spectacular butterflies

Very cool! I didn't know there was anything out there that could eat citrus leaves. All caterpillars have a natural instinct to pupate a distance away from their mother plant. It makes sense because of it stayed there, it might fall to the ground due to other larvae feeding. Very good shots. Lucky you.

Thanks! That makes sense about the larvae moving away

Hi nikv,

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Thank you!

Wow what a beauty, Almost like the tiger swallowtails we have here, just missing the tails.

Yes, they have little tails instead

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It is a beautiful butterfly. And his buba is interesting.
I haven't heard of peanut kitty. Is he still at home?

Peanut is at home and happy and playing with his cat uncles


Oh what a joy!!, they are all beautiful, thanks @nikv. A hug for him.

So beautiful and delicate..😊

Yes and lucky to have escaped the cats

She's a beauty! Lucky to have gotten such great photos.

It was a rare privilege

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So lucky to catch this butterfly in its first hour being flying away!

Hope you are keeping very well with your Peanut! We need an update on Peanut!! LoL

Ok, I had better satisfy his fans :)

Oh! Great! He must be quite big now!

Beautiful pictures!
The good news is that the cat survived the bite!

Luckily they are not dangerous scorpions but the stings are known to be very painful. I felt really bad to see him in so much pain

Oh ... poor thing!

So cool!

This is a neat capture @nikv. It’s not everyday you see a new born butterfly.

Have a great new month.💕

Thank you, you too. Thanks for the tip :)

I just read this after your comment on my green Gogga you identified in my post 😊 great article. I'll be sure to relocate any I see to the lemon tree from now on.

The butterflies will put them there themselves :)