development of a lime swallowtail 1


Lime butterfly 01 instar 3

Hello world! my name is Lime, I’m a caterpillar of a lime swallowtail. Some people call me a lime butterfly. I’m probably in the third instar stage; and at 1.5cm long I am almost always hungry! I may be ugly but you will be surprised how beautiful I will become later.

In the following days I’ll tell more about myself, but for now, I’m telling you your momma’s right when she told you not to touch me. See those spines on my back? They are full of hairs. The scientifically correct term for this awesome gadget is urticating setae. Each hair has a funnel in the middle with toxin that will help me survive. Yeah, be affraid!

That white patch on my back? I am a big fan of Batman, but actually mother nature put it there to disguise me as a bird’s poop, another defence strategy against my predators.

Oh, BTW, these macro selfies are each a composite of four images focused at different distance and then stacked together, a technique they call focus stacking, to get a completely sharp head to tail picture of me. Ain’t it cool or what?!

Lime butterfly 02 instar 3

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