Saturday, 29 May 2010

the gall that wasn't

http://www.alexareynolds.com/garden10/gall.JPGThe other day I was having a look at my lemon tree and noticed a citrus gall I had missed.  I got my pruning shears, came back, grabbed the gall and was shocked to find that it wasn't actually attached to the drunk.  Because it wasn't a gall.  It was a chrysalis!  It's the chrysalis of the dingy swallowtail butterfly, the caterpillars of which I've seen on my cumquats but hadn't seen on my lemon tree.  But obviously they're there.  Thankfully I didn't know the chrysalis off, just moved it a bit, so hopefully it will still emerge as a gorgeous butterfly.

http://www.alexareynolds.com/garden10/caterpillar.JPGIt just occurred to me that I never posted a picture of these caterpillars.  Normally caterpillars are a pest that munch away at my veggies and require a dose of dipel.  But these caterpillars only eat citrus leaves and so far only much on my cumquats and lemons so I really don't mind.  And in adult form they're just stunning.  Even as caterpillars they're great fun to look at.  Those orange antennae are a defense they only shoot out if they're disturbed.  They release a smell like rotting oranges to deter predators.  Chemical warfare, amazing mimicry and stunning adulthood - they definitely deserve to live!



1 comments:

Mari said...

You are such a great photographer. What camera are you using?