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Citrus Swallowtail

Citrus Swallowtail
Photo Information
Copyright: Pam Russell (coasties) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3749 W: 483 N: 8155] (28054)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-01-07
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon EOS 20D, Canon EF 100-400mm L IS USM, Digital RAW 100, Hoya UV 77mm
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Swallowtails [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-01-27 6:48
Viewed: 3895
Points: 32
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Citrus Swallowtail (Papilio Demoleus)

Habitat: Everywhere
Difference in Sex: Very similar
Diet: Rutaceae plant species and Citrus trees
Enemies: Parasitic Wasps

This species is known as the Citrus Swallowtail (or Lime Swallowtail) as its caterpillars feed of various plants in the citrus family. It can be a pest to citrus orchards. It has a distinct black and yellow scale pattern, especially around the base of the front wings. The hind wings each have a distinctive bright red spot and lacks the tails that give the swallowtail family their name.

Pest status: The citrus swallowtail is widespread in Namibia and found in most gardens and fields. It does not cause economical damage to fully grown trees but is known to damage young seedlings in the nursery.

Description: The eggs are laid singly on the citrus leaves. They are about one millimeter in dimameter and white. The young caterpillar has spikes and a pattern of brown, black and white coulouring that makes it look like a birds dropping. it grows to 1-1.5 cm before changing into the green type of caterpillar. The older caterpillar grows to a size of 3-4 cm and changes colour to green with white or pinkish markings. There are also eye markings on the front part. When the caterpillar is disturbed or scared, it sends out two orange "antennae" that are intended to scare away enemies. These "antennae" also emits a bad smell. They are withdrawn again once the scare is over. When the caterpillar comes to maturity, it fastens itself to a citrus branch and slowly change into a pupae. The butterfly may emerge after a week or so, depending on the temperature and humidity. The butterfly is a large swallowtail with black and yellow markings and red/blue eye spots on the hindwings. It flies all year round in gardens and fields and frequents flowers or lays eggs on citrus trees. During flight it looks more yellow than black.

Information obtained from:




Camera: Canon 20D
Time of day: 3:29 p.m.
Date: 7th January 2006
Weather conditions: Inside Tropical Butterfly House
Lens: Canon 100-400mm L IS
Filter: Hoya 77mm UV
Shutter Speed: 1/100
F-Stop: F/5.6
Focal Length: 400mm
ISO: 100
External Flash: Canon 580EX Speedlite
Original file type: Digital Raw

thistle, scottevers7, soccer, elroyie, wallhalla15, livios, red45, phlr, peter_stoeckl has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Nice shot Pam!
I like the POV a lot. Colours look very natural and the picture has very nice depth.
Very well done on this one!

Hi Pam,
A very good shot on this Citrus Swallowtail. Another speicies that top and bottom wings look vastly diffrent. Godd saturayed colors and sharp detail. Well done!

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2006-01-27 7:21]

Great ashot, the colors are outstanding, a wonderful compostion. Great POV.

  • Great 
  • jossim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1538 W: 5 N: 2240] (12636)
  • [2006-01-27 7:31]

Magnifique composition Pam!

La pose du papillon est parfaites et les couleurs sont bien exposées. Félicitations pour les détails et l'éclairage.



An excellent shot, showing a lot of detail. I like the POV, DOF and composition. TFS, Sheriff.

Very good DOF, composition and colours. Details and POV are excellent.


Beautifull butterfly in a beautifull picture, very good composition.

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2006-01-27 12:20]

Hello Pam!
Sorry no time,critique later....:-)

Pam, this is a great photo. Great colours, excellent sharpness and great note too. This is a very nice composite. Thank you.

  • Great 
  • livios Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2150 W: 319 N: 4263] (16942)
  • [2006-01-27 14:08]

Pam, plenty of nice colors everywhere: this is great.

I like sharpness, composition and pov.

I also enjoy saturation; lovely bg.

This beautiful butterfly that you caught so well here seems to be quite widspread over the world, except Europe. Too bad for us ...
Great sharpness and colours.

Regards, Petru

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2006-01-27 17:02]

Hi Pam!

Beautifull butterfly. I love POV and colorfull accents on its wings. Pity that tips of its wings are slightly blurred.

  • Great 
  • phlr Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1237 W: 130 N: 882] (2821)
  • [2006-01-27 17:36]

Very beautiful Papilionidae!
Beautiful colours!
Nice POV!
Very good BG!
Sharp and clear!

Hello Pam,
refreshingly lively shot of fine dynamic composition, with well focussed details and an elegant arrangement of colours.
Thank you! Have a nice weekend!

Very nice composition on this nicely placed butterfly the lighting is also pleasing giving a nice exposure. :)

  • Great 
  • RII Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 481 W: 0 N: 895] (2862)
  • [2006-02-01 3:49]

Hi Pam.
Wonderful butterfly,great composition,very nice colors and details..one more time wonderful butterfly.

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