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Citrus Swallowtail Butterfly

See the egg, then the caterpillar that is only a day or so old followed by a caterillar that is a few days old.

This caterpillar is in the final instar and will soon form a chrysalysis

The Pupa Stage

The first instar of the caterpillar is black, with a black heads and two rows of sub-dorsal fleshy spines. The second, third and fourth instars are dark, with glossy, dark-brown head, and white markings on the 8th and 9th segments of the caterpillar which resemble a white patch of uric acid deposited in a bird's droppings, helping them escape predation while remaining in moderately open places.

As the instars progress, this resemblance is lost. From the fifth instar onwards, the caterpillars now turn cylindrical in shape, tapered towards the rear, and uniformly pale green in colour with a white sub-spiracular band. An additional black band is developed on the 4th and 5th segments with two black and two bluish spots on them. The 8th and 9th segments, which earlier provided the camouflage markings now develop a brown and white band. At this stage, the caterpillars are forced to inhabit secluded places.

Duration of egg stage: 3.1 to 6.1 days.

Duration of larva stage: 12.9 and 22.7 days.

Duration of pupa stage: 8.0 to 22.4 days.

Duration of adult stage: 2 to 4 weeks

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