Osmeterium Down Under
Hello Mr Bugman,
My kids found this fellow on our lemon tree, just north of Brisbane, in Queensland, Australia. When I went to pick it up, the bright pink protuberances gave me such a fright that I nearly dropped it! The smell was more floral than offensive but took ages to wash off, and we were fascinated by the aggression with which this rather large caterpillar fought against contact. Of course, we went searching on the net, and learned about the osmeterium, but couldn’t quite identify the caterpillar. It looks somewhat like your US species of swallowtails or is it some type of moth? I thoroughly enjoyed your beautiful website.
It is surprising that once armed with a powerful vocabulary word like osmeterium, that you were unable to properly identify this Orchard Swallowtail Caterpillar, Papilio aegeus, which is sometimes called the Large Citrus Butterfly or just Orchard Butterfly.