Freshly hatched

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I got lucky while watering my garden this morning, I found a freshly-hatched Citrus Swallowtail, Papilio demodocus. These large butterflies are found all over Sub-Saharan Africa and as their name suggests, the larvae eat citrus leaves. The female lays a single egg and I saw one flying around the lemon tree in Mid-December and noticed the caterpillars on the tree but left them alone because they aren't really large and destructive.


I noticed this pupa a few days ago but not the one in the succulents. It seems the caterpillar takes a walk away from the tree when they are ready to undergo metamorphosis.

The empty pupa after the butterfly vacated it. Seems almost impossible that it fitted in there.


I think this is a female butterfly, based on the large abdomen. Although the wings have unfurled, she was unable to fly yet when I found her, which was lucky, normally they don't stay still long enough to photograph.

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She was stuck with eying me nervously and slowly flapping her wings as I took some pictures.

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These beauties are welcome to come and eat my lemon tree leaves

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