Monday, 6 November 2017

Who is Eating my Mint Plant?

I noticed that there were large pieces missing from my healthy looking mint plant, and it didn't take me long to locate the culprit, this large bright green caterpillar. It may be the larvae of the ubiquitous Cabbage White butterfly, but I have my doubts. It's a much brighter green than those caterpillars usually are, but then it's not eating dull old cabbage leaves, but somehow it doesn't look quite right to me.
 Below is the Cabbage White Butterfly that we all know, this time on a Loquat tree flower.
 This beautiful butterfly below is a Dainty Swallowtail, previously called a Dingy Swallowtail. I think that the new name is far more appropriate. 

 The caterpillar above left is the Dainty Swallowtail larvae and the one to the right belongs to the Orchard Swallowtail, the butterfly seen below. Both butterfly larvae feed on citrus fruit leaves, but the Orchard Swallowtail rarely ventures south a far as Melbourne. With global warming perhaps we'll see this splendid butterfly in our suburban gardens  competing with the smaller Dainty Swallowtail which is reasonably common in Melbourne during the summer.

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