Wake of the ravager
The caterpillar form of the Citrus Swallowtail is a ravager. An army of these bright green beasties, if left to their own devices, will strip your citrus trees bare in almost no time at all. My smaller trees are particularly vulnerable. That’s the downside. The upside is that they turn into really beautiful butterflies…
I find myself constantly having to be some sort of arbitrator, playing god. Who lives and who dies. I tend to side with the trees and am inclined to pick the caterpillars off my foliage when I see them… and then murder them… usually executed through the porcelain whirlpool method. They have this really funky odorous defence mechanism that lingers on for what feels like forever, so the birds won’t touch ‘em.
Lately I’ve been feeling bad about my genocidal tendencies and so confined several of these creatures to a Tupperware container with set leaf rations for each day. They didn’t seem to mind incarceration and happily munched their way into obesity before dutifully forming chrysalises. An added bonus was the education value this provided my four year old.
Today the first one burst forth from his cocoon.
In any event, I feel a bit better now about stunting the cycle of life through Lepidoptera-cide letting at least some these creatures complete their lifecycle. (if I don’t think about it too hard I mean)
Of course nature doesn’t really care about your feelings one way or another. In fact nature wouldn’t miss us at all if we were all dead. In fact for the most part, nature is trying to achieve just that.
Herewith end my interventionist tendencies.