Swallowtail Butterfly caterpillar in the UK

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Swallowtail Butterfly in Brighton allotment recorded by Nick Fry
Swallowtail Butterfly in Brighton allotment recorded by Nick Fry

This unusual sighting of a Swallowtail caterpillar in Brighton, England was received from Nick Fry.

Given that it’s a long way from the only resident Uk Swallowtail Butterfly population in the Fens of Norfolk the origins of the female butterfly that laid the egg are uncertain.

There is the real possibility that being on the south coast a migrant butterfly from the continent could have crossed The English Channel and laid a batch of eggs.

There is also the possibility that it’s the result of a captive bred release.

Unfortunately it’s not possible to determine from the caterpillar if of the UK Swallowtail form – Papilio machaon britannicus or the continental form – Papilio machaon gorganus.

Other European Swallowtail Butterflies can be seen in the European Swallowtail Butterfly gallery

Other British Butterfly caterpillars

Moth caterpillar galleries