Hercules Club Zanthoxylum clava-herculis
My Hercules Club Tree finally grew up enough to attract a Giant Swallowtail Butterfly; I caught her laying eggs on it:
Hercules Club Tree, Zanthoxylum clava-herculis
I couldn't get too close without scaring her away, but I managed to get a picture of her flying up to the tree and another of her abdomen curved up as she deposited her egg on a new leaf.
Giant Swallowtail Butterfly flying to lay eggs on a Hercules Club Tree, Zanthoxylum clava-herculis
See that white dot on the leaf above my finger? That's one of the many evil M. Undatus Weevils lurking on the tree.
Giant Swallowtail Butterfly Laying An Egg On Hercules Club Tree, Zanthoxylum clava-herculis
Giant Swallowtail Caterpillars slowly nibble on the leaves. They look like bird poop. I guess that camouflage helps keep the birds from eating them.
Hercules Club Tree, Zanthoxylum clava-herculis
Another sap sucking critter on this tree is this nasty scale. The bugs are disgusting; they look like green, white and brown scabs stuck all around the branch. Those scab-like waxy covers are why it's so darned hard to get rid of scale; the bug spray doesn't get under it to kill the bugs.
M. Undatus weevil on a Hercules Club Tree leaf
This Ambush Bug was lurking under a Hercules Club leaf,
Giant Swallowtail Caterpillar on Hercules Club Tree, Zanthoxylum clava-herculis
and this Blue Jay was perched on the branch.
Scale Insects on Hercules Club Tree, Zanthoxylum clava-herculis
I've never seen an ambush bug eat a Giant Swallowtail, but I have seen them kill other butterflies, so I didn't leave that bug on the tree.
Hercules Club Tree Thorns
Bugs aside, Hercules Club is still one of my favorite plants now that I've seen the Swallowtails on it several times. Here is another caterpillar, and some actual bird poop on a Jatropha leaf so you can compare the two. Good camouflage, isn't it?
Ambush Bug on Hercules Club Tree, Zanthoxylum clava-herculis
Hercules Club Tree leaves have little bumps on them. When the sunlight hits them just right, they look like raindrops.
Blue Jay perched on a Hercules Club Tree, Zanthoxylum clava-herculis
Really Big Thorn on a Hercules Club Tree, Zanthoxylum clava-herculis
Giant Swallowtail Butterfly Caterpillar that looks like bird poop on a Hercules Club Tree leaf
Actual bird poop on a Jatropha Tree leaf
Bumps under a young Hercules Club Tree leaf
Hercules Club Tree, bumpy leaf
Lumpy Bumpy Leaves on Hercules Club Tree, Zanthoxylum clava-herculis
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