JungleDragon is a nature and wildlife community for photographers, travellers and anyone who loves nature. We're genuine, free, ad-free and beautiful.


Papilio machaon I love the colors on this caterpillar, so bright and complementary with each other.  Caterpillar,Europe,Fall,Geotagged,Macro,Old World swallowtail,Papilio machaon,Portugal,butterfly caterpillar Click/tap to enlarge Promoted

    comments (7)

  1. I agree! Did you know that if you gently touch the area above its head, it will sprout horns? They are called osmeterium and deter predators:
    Papilio polyxenes - Black Swallowtail Caterpillar When provoked, the larvae of this species sprout eversible orange horns called osmeterium, which release a foul odor in order to deter predators. The osmeterium is a defensive, glandular organ that is coated in stinky chemicals, and is located at the base of the caterpillar's head. The osmeterial odor changes between species and within the life stages of the caterpillars. <br />
<br />
This particular caterpillar's osmeterium smelled like apples. You can actually see bits of the stinky fluid dripping off the osmeterium in this photo!<br />
<br />
Habitat: On fennel (Foeniculum sp.) in a rural garden<br />
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/83301/eastern_black_swallowtail_caterpillar_-_papilio_polyxenes.html Black Swallowtail,Geotagged,Papilio polyxenes,Summer,United States,caterpillar,osmeterium,papilio
    Posted 6 months ago
    1. :-o Wow! That's amazing! Do you know what are those horns for? Posted 6 months ago
      1. The osmeterium are used to startle predators. They release a pungent odor, which apparently repels potential predators. It does smell, but the odor varies between individuals and instars. The one in the photo that I shared smelled like apples. There is also speculation that the osmeterium may startle predators because of its resemblance to a snake's forked tongue. Posted 6 months ago
        1. That's so interesting, thank you for sharing your knowledge :-) Posted 6 months ago
          1. You're welcome! Posted 6 months ago
  2. I like the caterpillar as much if not more than the butterfly Posted 6 months ago
    1. Yeah, I love them both too ;-) Posted 6 months ago

Sign in or Join in order to comment.

''Papilio machaon'', the Old World swallowtail, is a butterfly of the family Papilionidae. The butterfly is also known as the common yellow swallowtail or simply the swallowtail . It is the type species of the genus ''Papilio''.

Similar species: Moths And Butterflies
Species identified by Flavio
View Flavio's profile

By Flavio

All rights reserved
Uploaded Nov 15, 2021. Captured Nov 11, 2021 09:10 in 4697+65 Moncarapacho, Portugal.
  • X-T20
  • f/1.0
  • 1/180s
  • ISO400
  • 100mm