Thursday, September 9, 2010

5th Instar Anise Swallowtail Caterpillar on a Fennel Plant, Jerome, Arizona

Seen on the street in Jerome: Papilio zelicaon

The orange bulbs on his head-end, or osmeteria, smell not good to female humans.
To this male photographer, however, they smelled a bit like cheeseburgers.
The fennel was sweet green licorice right off the bush, by the way.
My kids, the caterpillar, and I shared a snack together.
The air up there will snap cold soon, so it's a good time for him to do what he does: fill up on fennel, hunker down. 
Time to butterfly up, cowboy.
I put on bike shorts and shoes, gloves and helmet after this. 
With fennel on my breath, with the memory of that cheeseburger caterpillar smell. 
So I could do what I do. 
Get up. Go ride.


  1. "I put on bike shorts and shoes, gloves and helmet after this."

    That begs the question, what were you wearing while you sniffed the caterpillar?

    Nice picture, man. I don't think I've ever seen that type of caterpillar this far north, but if do I'm gonna take whiff. I love cheeseburgers.

  2. That's one honking big caterpillar!

  3. RANTWICK I was wearing boots made for walkin, taking my kids around Jerome sniffing caterpillars and eating weeds. Thanks!

    limom yes sir, we was kind of cartoonish. I wondered if his defense mechanism would be to pull out a giant wooden mallet to whack predators with.

  4. Motivators
    me: Key Lime pie!
    you: cheeseburger caterpillars. happy to imagine sniffing a 'pillar one day. :)

  5. Ali B. I think key lime pie would get me up the mountain, too. For some reason that sounds more like a backpacking motivator to me, though, ground pounding all day dreaming about that cool lime taste in camp...


Please feel free to comment here, almost anything goes, except for obvious spam or blatantly illegal or objectionable material. Spammers may be subject to public ridicule, scorn, or outright shaming, and the companies represented in spam shall earn disrepute and ire for each occurrence.