Bug found on Lemon Tree in AZ
May 2, 2009 at 12:57 PM
We found this bug on a leaf of our Lemon Tree. What is it? Is it harmful to humans? Is it harmful to the tree or other vegetation? Do we need to spray the tree or other plants?
SW – Scottsdale, AZ
This is the caterpillar of a beautiful butterfly, the Giant Swallowtail. The caterpillar is commonly called an Orange Dog and it mimics bird droppings to avoid getting eaten. The caterpillar will eat some leaves, but will do no lasting harm to your tree. You should not spray your tree because of the Orange Dog. The Orange Dog is not harmful to humans, but if you provoke it, you will be treated to seeing the osmetrium emerge. The osmetrium is a scent organ resembling two orange horns and it gives off an odor to repel its attacker.