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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&#039;s head. The osmeterial odor changes between species and within the life stages of the caterpillars. This particular caterpillar&#039;s osmeterium smelled like apples.<br />
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Habitat: on Queen Anne&#039;s Lace in a meadow Black Swallowtail,Geotagged,Papilio polyxenes,Summer,United States,caterpillar,osmeterium Click/tap to enlarge Promoted

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. This particular caterpillar's osmeterium smelled like apples.

Habitat: on Queen Anne's Lace in a meadow

    comments (4)

  1. Ohhhh so awesome! What an epic shot, Christine! Posted 14 days ago
    1. Thanks! It was showing off for sure - rearing up, sprouting horns, and stinking things up. Posted 14 days ago
  2. Very cool! Posted 14 days ago
    1. Thank you! They are so cute when they sprout their horns. And, all you have to do is touch one gently near its head. Although, your finger will smell like apples for hours afterwards. Posted 13 days ago

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The Black Swallowtail , also called the American Swallowtail or Parsnip Swallowtail, is a butterfly found throughout much of North America. It is the state butterfly of Oklahoma. An extremely similar-appearing species, ''Papilio joanae'', occurs in the Ozark Mountains region, but it appears to be closely related to ''Papilio machaon'', rather than ''P. polyxenes''. The species is named after the figure in Greek mythology, Polyxena , who was the youngest daughter of King Priam of Troy.

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Similar species: Moths And Butterflies
Species identified by Christine Young
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By Christine Young

All rights reserved
Uploaded Aug 9, 2019. Captured Aug 9, 2019 09:40 in 281 Main St S, Woodbury, CT 06798, USA.
  • Canon EOS 80D
  • f/9.0
  • 1/83s
  • ISO400
  • 100mm