Friday 27 May 2011: Danger Ahead
When the Anise Swallowtail caterpillar is frightened or annoyed it everts its osmeterium and releases a very distinctive fragrance. This gland pops out so fast it seems like the equivalent of saying "Boo" while jumping out from behind a door; the scent is distasteful to predators. The caterpillar is eating great quantities of fennel leaf, and there is beginning to be a very blue cast to some of the green stripes. In the past I've noticed that this means it may be getting ready to shed this skin, which it does several times before making a chrysalis.