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Papilio glaucus caterpillar | by Maryann's*****Fotos
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Papilio glaucus caterpillar

Gorgeous green larva of the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly. The false eyes are to scare predators. Length about 4 cm. When threatened it rears up this "head". When really peeved it produced orange horns, the osmeterium, a scent organ. Unfortunately, I could not capture that display, it was moving too fast. This little critter will form a chrysalis that winters over and the butterfly will emerge in the Spring. BTW, the larvae are not green like this when they hatch from the eggs but gray. The swallowtail butterfly looks like this

Received an Award of Merit at 2010 Glennie International Nature Competition

2nd place winner, Macworld macro photo contest, 2011

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Taken on September 15, 2009