Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar

Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar (Papilio troilus) #1

I spotted this Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar (Papilio troilus) today on the bird bath. More than likely it fell out of the close-by Sassafras tree. I’m guessing this one is pretty close to pupating; but in the final instar of the Spicebush Swallowtail, it turns a bright yellow. According to Wikipedia:

“The entire development process from egg to adult takes about a month. Once they have reached the adult stage, Papilio troilus can live anywhere from two days to two weeks dependent on resource availability and predator avoidance.”

Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar (Papilio troilus) #2

I’ll be searching the entire summer for an adult butterfly to photograph, now. I saw one the other day in the yard; however, to my disappointment, I didn’t have my camera outdoors with me at the time. Hopefully, the opportunity will arise again.


By the way, for anyone interested, I recently began exploring Instagram and posting a few shots over there. David is letting me use his old Android as a portable device to get a “feel” for these confounded smartphones. (I have to catch up to the rest of humanity at some point, right?) Fascinating device with a lot of perks, but I really hate typing on it. Give me a keyboard any day! The camera is “meh,” not as great as my Canon PowerShot; but at least it gives me the opportunity to experience Instagram.

Feel free to look me up at: https://instagram.com/pixygiggles/


10 thoughts on “Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar

  1. The spicebush swallowtail is one of my favorite butterflies – so beautiful. I’m so glad to see this picture of it as a caterpillar! I hope you see it as a butterfly and get some pictures of it. Here are some shots I got of one some years ago. I think it had just come from its chrysalis. It wasn’t yet flying.

    Look for me on Instagram (marymcavoy)! I’d love to follow you. BTW, you can take photos with your Canon PowerShot (LOVE that camera), then download them to your computer, then email them to yourself and open the email from your phone and download the image to your phone. Then you can use the photo on IG! It sounds like a lot of steps, but it’s pretty simple and becomes automatic after a while. You might lose out a bit on the “insta” part of that social media, but that’s not critical! And you will probably have to crop it.

    Hope you’re having a nice summer!

    1. Those two butterflies on your blog post are very, very similar. Tack on the female Papilio glaucus and you’ve got a real ID nightmare on your hands, lol. Insect ID’s (and plants) are like that a lot of the time for me, though. I’m always wondering if I have the correct ID, but I enjoy the learning process that is much like a puzzle (and I LOVE puzzles!).

      I just figured out today how to hook the ZTE up to my computer and actually “see it,” so I should be able to transfer files that way as well. They really are like mini-computers. It blows my mind how far technology has come!

      Found you on Instagram. 🙂 I hope your summer is great as well!

  2. What a stunning creature! And even though deep down I knew some insects lived very short lives it disappointed me to read that it might live up to two weeks only as an adult. Sigh. Nature boggles me so often.

    I’ll look for you on instagram, too, Patricia. My photo inspiration has been as lacking as my blog inspiration lately, so I don’t visit or post often but I hope that changes soon.

    1. Who knows, maybe two weeks to a butterfly is an eternity? The beauty that graces humans in short time frames like that of the butterfly helps us remember to appreciate those special moments that seem fleeting. 🙂

  3. Amazing creature… amazing photos… Thank you for sharing them with us… Found your site from reblog of gentlekindness… Glad I found you…
    Hope your day is most beautiful…

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