A Western Giant Swallowtail that had just emerged from its pupa on a lemon tree, Manhattan Beach, June 15, 2003.
A Western Giant Swallowtail sipping at butterfly bush in my backyard garden. These can be difficult to photograph dorsally because when they nectar they tend to beat their wings continually. June 8, 2009.
Heraclides rumiko, formerly Papilio cresphontes, the Western Giant Swallowtail, also nectaring in my garden in Long Beach, where they can be common. I have a few citrus trees that they have oviposited on, but so far nothing has gone through to adult as far as I know. May 29, 2006. Rumiko was distinguished from cresphontes in 2014 by Kojiro Shiraiwa and Nick Grishin.
I found a couple of cresphontes eggs on fresh shoots on my backyard orange tree on November 3, 2012. Haven't had any luck with this species in the past beyond first instars, but maybe this year will be different.
A week after finding the eggs, a tiny larva emerges. Note the remains of the egg in the background. I found two larvae on the tree. November 10, 2012.
A couple of weeks later, one of the caterpillars is gone, but the other is doing well. This is either a second or third instar. November 26, 2012. Obviously the resemblance to bird poop is a way of dissuading or fooling predators. Ah, the beauty of nature!
I found another larva in the same tree, and this one was bigger. They soon disappeared, and I haven't seen any since on my citrus trees. December 3, 2012.
Fast forward to late September, 2020. I found a couple of eggs and am trying again. Here's a just-molted third instar larva I'm raising with a few others from my backyard orange tree. September 23, 2020.
This is now in the fifth instar. September 29, 2020. It pupated a few days later. I have four total, each in different stages.
And finally, a chrysalis. October 7, 2020.