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Well, not really.  This little guy can't push the keys on a keyboard.  I went out for a 4 mile jog yesterday and on the way out I spotted the work of a Papilio troilus caterpillar on some sassafrass.  On the way back in, I pulled a bunch of branches and now have it in my office.  It looks like it's at the tail end of the first instar and is ready to shed:

I used to collect and raise lepidoptera when I was younger and got really good at spotting certain species.  P. troilus (or spicebush swallowtail) has a particular eating/resting pattern that is nigh invisible to inexperienced eyes, but once you know the pattern, it makes it easy to find.  This larva is really only 8 mm long, which is nice because it means that there's a very high probability that it has no parasites.  I'll help raise it to adulthood and let it go.  Watch this space for progress.
Published Wednesday, June 28, 2006 10:16 AM by Steve Hawley


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