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List: Carolina-Leps
Date: Mon, 5 Sep 2022 12:31:15 -0400
From: Harry LeGrand (via carolinaleps Mailing List) <carolinaleps...>
Subject: The Chatham County, NC, mystery of the Giant Swallowtails "solved"

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Folks,

In looking at the Facebook Carolina Leps group a few minutes ago, there is
a significant posting by Dennie Roos, whom I know as an Ag Extension
specialist in Chatham County who often works with gardeners and butterfly
lovers there. Here is her posting:

"This morning I got to re-home some unusual caterpillars! Yesterday friend
Billie Shambley tagged me on a Facebook post asking for ID of some large
caterpillars she had found on her Meyer lemon trees. They were giant
swallowtail larvae! I knew we had giant swallowtails in Chatham County
because folks occasionally contact me asking for ID. But I had never seen
one myself. Billie didn't want her lemon trees defoliated so I offered to
take them. One of their host plants is trifoliate orange, also called hardy
orange, or bitter orange. I also knew Billie's neighbor Andy Upshaw has
regularly seen giant swallowtails at his place so I asked if I could bring
the larvae there and he was happy to oblige since he has lots of trifoliate
orange. So I picked up the larvae from Billie this morning and brought them
down the road to Andy's and we put them on his plants. They immediately
started munching down because they had been in a jar overnight with some
lemon leaves and were hungry. At Andy's I got to see some giant
swallowtails nectaring on lantana and zinnias so it was a great morning!
Host plants include members of the citrus family (in Florida, the
caterpillars are called orange dogs). The hoptree (Ptelea trifoliata) is a
NC native host. Chatham County near Pittsboro."


There are a number of photos showing the "Orange Dog" caterpillars, the
leaves on the tree, and an adult swallowtail.

So -- as we know, this eastern Piedmont county has had a number of records
of adults of E. Giant Swallowtails over the past few years, but neighboring
counties have not. I would thus expect that MOST of these adults have been
reared in this single yard on this/these lemon trees.

Harry LeGrand
Raleigh

PS -- Will or others -- can you get the URL posted here? I forget how that
is done for the entire post with the photos -- I can do it for single
photos.

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<div dir=3D"ltr"><div dir=3D"ltr">Folks,</div><div dir=3D"ltr"><br></div><d=
iv dir=3D"ltr">In looking at the Facebook Carolina Leps group a few minutes=
ago, there is a significant posting by Dennie Roos, whom I know as an Ag E=
xtension specialist in Chatham County who often works with gardeners and bu=
tterfly lovers there.=C2=A0 Here is her posting:</div><div dir=3D"ltr"><div=
><br></div><div>&quot;This
morning I got to re-home some unusual caterpillars! Yesterday friend=20
Billie Shambley tagged me on a Facebook post asking for ID of some large
caterpillars she had found on her Meyer lemon trees. They were giant=20
swallowtail larvae! I knew we had giant swallowtails in Chatham County=20
because folks occasionally contact me asking for ID. But I had never=20
seen one myself. Billie didn&#39;t want her lemon trees defoliated so I=20
offered to take them. One of their host plants is <a tabindex=3D"-1"></a>tr=
ifoliate
orange, also called hardy orange, or bitter orange. I also knew=20
Billie&#39;s neighbor Andy Upshaw has regularly seen giant swallowtails at=
=20
his place so I asked if I could bring the larvae there and he was happy=20
to oblige since he has lots of trifoliate orange. So I picked up the=20
larvae from Billie this morning and brought them down the road to Andy&#39;s
and we put them on his plants. They immediately started munching down=20
because they had been in a jar overnight with some lemon leaves and were
hungry. At Andy&#39;s I got to see some giant swallowtails nectaring on=20
lantana and zinnias so it was a great morning! Host plants include=20
members of the citrus family (in Florida, the caterpillars are called=20
orange dogs). The hoptree (Ptelea trifoliata) is a NC native host.=20
Chatham County near Pittsboro.&quot;</div><div><br></div><div><br></div><di=
v>There are a number of photos showing the &quot;Orange Dog&quot; caterpill=
ars, the leaves on the tree, and an adult swallowtail.=C2=A0=C2=A0</div><di=
v><br></div><div>So -- as we know, this eastern Piedmont county has had a n=
umber of records of adults of E. Giant Swallowtails over the past few years=
, but neighboring counties have not.=C2=A0 I would thus expect that MOST of=
these adults have been reared in this single yard on this/these lemon tree=
s.</div><div><br></div><div>Harry LeGrand</div><div>Raleigh</div><div><br><=
/div><div>PS -- Will or others -- can you get=C2=A0the URL posted here?=C2=
=A0 I forget how that is done for the entire post with the photos=C2=A0 -- =
I can do it for single photos.</div></div></div>

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