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Swallotail (Papilio machaon) – catterpilar (4thinstar)

Photography of Swallotail (Papilio machaon) – catterpilar (4th instar)

The swallowtail produces three broods a year in the Mediterranean region flying from March till December. Females lay their eggs on fennel or rue and the caterpillars hatch out after around one week. They are active during the day and feed on the foodplant for about three weeks until they are fully grown. If disturbed, a pair of bright orange scent glands emerge from just behind the head; these horn-like structures repel potential predators by the strong unpleasant smell that they emit. The caterpillars attach their pupae low down on plant stems; the adults emerge either within three weeks, or after hibernating through the winter.