Bug of the Week: Giant Swallowtail

Do you remember the orange dog caterpillar and then the chrysalis from a few weeks ago?

The butterfly that emerged is called the giant swallowtail.

I was so excited when it came out of the chrysalis because I have never gotten a photograph of these speedy and elusive butterflies. They are always fluttering by at the tops of our citrus trees.

Because it had just emerged, it was sitting very still. It was waiting for its wings to finish drying. I was able to take a number of photographs. Here’s a close up of the eye spots on the hind wings.

Look, you can even see the scales that cover the wings.

Underneath it has a yellow body.

Isn’t it amazing that an egg and a few grapefruit leaves can transform into something so beautiful?

Have you ever seen a giant swallowtail butterfly up close?


  1. Mike B.

    Awesome! Love the closeup of the scales. I was able to get some photos of a swallowtail a couple of months ago, but nothing even close to these.

  2. Karen

    What wonderful pictures! Not only are you an awesome blogger, but a great photographer too!

  3. Roberta

    Thanks everyone, but it really helps to have the subject holding perfectly still. I can’t even get my kid to do that 🙂

  4. rebecca

    I love these guys! So big and impressive.

  5. celestial elf

    Beautiful Pictures Thank You 😀
    thought you might like my machinima film the butterfly’s tale~
    Bright Blessings
    elf ~

  6. Carlos

    Actually their caterpillars are a lot more interesting. These caterpillars looks like bird poop and actually doesn’t move much. Each rarely compared to the monarch or other caterpillars. Nevertheless only a handful of any caterpillars desolate host plants without leaves.

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