what type of caterpillar is this
Location: Queensland (cairns)
January 14, 2011 11:46 pm
HI bugman
I need your help to identify this caterpillar,I found it in my garden
and if you can,can you please find out what the caterpillar eats.
Signature: delaney potoi

Mountain Blue Caterpillar: Papilio ulysses

Dear Delaney,
We are a bit confused by your request, though we are thrilled to post your photograph.  When we first read your email, we thought you had labeled this image “Ulysses Caterpillar” because someone named Ulysses found it.  Upon doing our research, we found that it is the caterpillar of the Blue Mountain Swallowtail, Papilio ulysses, which we have always called the Ulysses Swallowtail.  It would appear that you already had an identification prior to submitting your request.  We identified your caterpillar on the Caterpillars of Australia website which indicates:  “In the wild they feed on the new growth foliage of the jungle trees : Fuzzy Lemon Aspen ( Acronychia vestita ), Silver Ash (Flindersia bourjotiana ), Glasswood ( Geijera salicifolia ), Kerosine Wood ( Halfordia kendack ), Yellow Evodia ( Melicope bonwickii ), Pink Princess ( Melicope elleryana ), Little Evodia ( Melicope rubra ), Northern Euodia ( Melicope vitiflora ), and they will also accept the foliage of: Oranges, Lemons, etc. ( Citrus species ), all of RUTACEAE.
”  The adult butterfly is a beautiful metallic blue butterfly with tails on the hind wings.  When a caterpillar is found on a plant, it is a very good indication that the plant is being eaten.

Ulysses Swallowtail postage stamp 2003

The Butterfly Corner website has nice photos of mounted specimens, and this species is quite popular in decorative collections, but we much prefer the photographs of the living specimens on the Wildlife Australia website. The adult Blue Mountain Swallowtail or Ulysses Swallowtail has been depicted on at least four Australian postage stamps including the two we are including in this posting.

Ulysses Swallowtail postage stamp 1998

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Location: Australia

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