Another stroll through my little back garden has revealed more aliens (you can find the previous aliens here). These aliens are masquerading as caterpillars!

I have a lime tree, I’ve had it for about 10 years maybe? I had it in a pot when I was renting a little house and moved it to my new home when I bought it 8 years ago. I planted it in the ground and it thrived!

A few years later, I was having some massive palm trees removed and one fell on my glorious lime tree and sliced it down the centre. The guy doing the job tackled the tree and held the stem together while my Dad ran to get strips of a towel to tie around it and hold it together. It survived and continued to thrive. I had so many lime for my G&Ts, it was brilliant.

Then, I got some landscaping done and my landscape gardener guy told me that the lime tree wasn’t in a aesthetically pleasing spot. We transplanted it and it unceremoniously died. I haven’t had the heart to remove it and some little suckers have grown up but they won’t ever fruit.

I was out in the garden with Gidget today and wandered over to the lime tree to see if anything had changed and I found this tiny little caterpillar, so I started shooting it. As I was manoeuvring around to find a better angle, I noticed these whopping big green caterpillars – the mummy and daddy!



Notice the red horns protruding out in some of the photos? These popped out when I shook the stem accidentally while moving it out of the way to get a better shot. The protrusions were accompanied by a sharp scent of citrus – the defence mechanism of the little guys to scare away predators. I was able to get a few shots of the protrusions (called osmeterium) as they retracted back inside.

These caterpillars are the larvae of the Orchid Swallowtail Butterfly, commonly called the Large Citrus Butterfly, found in Eastern Australia and Papua new Guinea and sometimes considered a pest. I am fascinated by these caterpillars and check on them each day if I can. I hope to catch them when they form their chrysalis and then emerge (apparently in 1 – 6 months!!!).

Some information for Lucile’s Photo101 Rehab Clinic patients: I used my Olympus OMD EM5, you can probably guess that I used my trusty 60mm (90mm equivalent) macro lens. I was handheld in the garden bed, having a great old time! There were 19 photos of these guys that I originally uploaded, so i had to cut them down a little to just these few.

x desleyjane






Posted by:desleyjane

photographer, blogger, planner, scientist, dog lover, frequent flyer, daughter, sister, BFF, human

27 replies on “Papillion

  1. You have won my heart! I love butterflies, so I have to love their babies too. These photos are amazing. Such a wonderful collection of different instars. I can’t wait to see the photos of the chrysalises and then the butterflies. How amazing to be able to watch the process in your own backyard. 🙂
    I like the way you have the captions popping up on each photograph. It is very effective. I must learn how to do that! Not that I post a photographic collection as you do, but I’d like to learn anyway.
    I am sorry to hear about your lime tree though. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh how wonderful is your comment?! I can’t wait to follow them, I hope the birds don’t get them.
      If you insert a photo gallery and add a caption to each photo then the captions will pop up automatically 🙂 I’m not sure if it’s theme-dependent. I don’t think so.
      Thanks so much Norah. X

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Terri. I’m very sad actually, I just went to check on them and the two from the photos are gone! The little brown ones are still there and one has started turning into a green one. But my big babies are gone!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Cool! Well, sorta cool- I confess to a slight aversion to caterpillars. But, these photos are amazing! I can’t believe you actually got the red horns! You must have been very patient. It would be fun to see the butterflies they become!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Tildy. I’ve lost them today, I’ve been away during sunlight hours the last few days so finally had a chance to check on them just now and they’ve disappeared!! The little ones are still there…. Will check again later…. Thanks again!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Love it!
          The trick with macro, even with zoom, is to have steady hands but also to have your camera parallel with the subject. This is the way to get most of the subject in focus. Angles are not helpful for focus.
          For detail though, I think macro lenses are best.


          1. Yup. I really do want to get up close and personal with so many subjects, especially food and nature bits and pieces like buggies. Good point about angles and focus. I’ve been trying different angles quite a bit and then wondering why focus isn’t what I wanted!

            Liked by 1 person

I'd love to hear from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s