Swallowtail Caterpillar from Mumbai is Common Mormon

Subject: It’s a caterpillar ,but which species.
Location: India,Maharashtra, Mumbai
November 23, 2015 2:44 am
A couple of weeks ago a beautiful butterfly layed her eggs on my plany of curry leaves.
They where 7-8 but only 1 survived due to weak condition of weather and plant .
But these beautiful caterpillar is of which species and how will it look after becoming a butterfly I want to know.
Signature: Sahil

Swallowtail Caterpillar
Common Mormon Caterpillar

Dear Sahil,
This is the caterpillar of a Swallowtail Butterfly and there are several species that look quite similar, but we are relatively confident that this is a Lime Butterfly Caterpillar, based on this description provided to us by Keith Wolfe in a previous posting on our site:  “I’ve seen hundreds of Lime Butterfly and Common Mormon larvae all across Asia, the two being easily separable by a coffee-colored band between the “eyes” (Lime Butterfly) and prominent blue spots on the head and body (Common Mormon).”  We don’t normally link to Wikipedia, but there is a beautiful set of images documenting the metamorphosis of the Lime Butterfly posted there.  Fluttery has a nice comparison of the similar looking Swallowtail caterpillars.  Just to be certain, we are writing to Keith Wolfe to get verification on our identification.

Correction Courtesy of Keith Wolfe
Hi Sahil and Daniel,
Sorry Bugman, this is in fact a Common Mormon (Papilio polytes, http://www.ifoundbutterflies.org/sp/603/Papilio-polytes/early-stages).  Its caterpillar and those of the Lime Butterfly (P. demoleus, http://www.ifoundbutterflies.org/sp/602/Papilio-demoleus/early-stages) are frequently confused, but a careful check reveals several distinctions.
Best wishes,

3 thoughts on “Swallowtail Caterpillar from Mumbai is Common Mormon”

    • You are wecome Sahil. Also, Keith Wolfe corrected the identification. This is not the Caterpillar of a Common Lime Butterfly. We misidentified the larva of the Common Mormon.


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