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Eastern Giant Swallowtail Caterpillar

Papilio cresphontes

Description:

Today I found this Giant Swallowtail caterpillar and it gave me the classic defensive posture so I thought I would share. That red thing is called an osmeterium and it helps the caterpillar to mimic a snake and hopefully scare a predator away. There is also a strong odor that permeates the air when it sticks its ''tongue'' out. Also noteworthy is the fact that this species is a southern dweller and is a rare visitor to the Montreal area so I was very lucky to spot it.

Notes:

I have added another image showing the caterpillar attached to a twig and getting ready to become a chrysalis.

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40 Comments (1–25)

maplemoth662
maplemoth662 4 years ago

Four, beautiful photos....

LaurenZarate
LaurenZarate 8 years ago

The pupa has a remarkable wood-like camouflage!

johnlguerin
johnlguerin 8 years ago

In the latest image I added, the caterpillar has shed its outer skin and the perfectly camouflaged chrysalis is getting ready for the final stage.

namitha
namitha 8 years ago

The update is really amazing! It's wonderful that you have been tracking it.

johnlguerin
johnlguerin 8 years ago

I have added another image showing the caterpillar attached to a twig and getting ready to become a chrysalis.

Adarsha B S
Adarsha B S 8 years ago

Very nice spotting ! Congratulations :)

johnlguerin
johnlguerin 8 years ago

Once more, I would like to thank everyone who has liked and commented on my caterpillar shot. I am very touched by your kind comments.

Maria dB
Maria dB 8 years ago

Congratulations - wonderful capture!

AmandaCech
AmandaCech 8 years ago

Awesome!!!!

Bhagya Herath
Bhagya Herath 8 years ago

congratulations johnlquerin... awesome spotting....

Congrats awesome spotting ! :)

Hema  Shah
Hema Shah 8 years ago

too cute.

Carol Snow Milne
Carol Snow Milne 8 years ago

Great news!!! Congratulations John! It is a magnificent spot and perfect timing to see this snake mimic.

KarenL
KarenL 8 years ago

Fabulous spot John! It is a well-deserved spotting of the day!

Wow, such an amazing similarity to a snake I bet most would feel like taking a step back upon seeing it! It's also kind of funny, a bit like a caterpillar in fancy-dress.

LaurenZarate
LaurenZarate 8 years ago

Congratulations John! It is a very convincing little snake, it even looks scaly! Great photos!

namitha
namitha 8 years ago

Awesome spotting, John. Thank you so much for the info too. Congratulations!

Sachin Zaveri
Sachin Zaveri 8 years ago

Congratulations !

FelixO
FelixO 8 years ago

that is neat!

johnlguerin
johnlguerin 8 years ago

Thanks Tiz and Joshua.

Tiz
Tiz 8 years ago

Congratulations John :) This is a very cool spotting. I had no idea such behaviour existed! Enjoy the day, Tina

Josh Asel
Josh Asel 8 years ago

Awesome story and spotting John! Thanks for sharing and congrats :)

johnlguerin
johnlguerin 8 years ago

Thank you all for your kind comments. I am thrilled that my shot has been selected for shot of the day. It is my first and I am very happy that my little caterpillar has been seen by so many people. I hope I will find more gems like this to share with you in the future.

Congratulations !

suzmonk
suzmonk 8 years ago

Right, congratulations! Good job.

johnlguerin
Spotted by
johnlguerin

Montréal, Québec, Canada

Spotted on Sep 16, 2013
Submitted on Sep 16, 2013

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