Orchard Swallowtail Caterpillar from Australia

Location: Australia QLD Redcliffe 4020
December 9, 2011 10:18 pm
Hey guys.
Found this Caterpillar today eating my Orange Tree leaves. Like to know what this is and if it’s a thread to the tree or not.
Signature: michael from australia redcliffe QLD

Orchard Swallowtail Caterpillar

Dear Michael,
This spectacular caterpillar is that of an Orchard Swallowtail,
Papilio aegeus, and we confirmed that identification on the Brisbane Insect website.  As you indicated, the caterpillar eats the foliage of orange and other citrus trees, however, the loss of some leaves will not harm the tree appreciably.  The red horns at the front of your caterpillar is a scent organ known as the osmeterium.  It is normally hidden, but when the caterpillar feels threatened by a predator, the osmeterium is displayed along with an odor that is described as disagreeable.

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