Hi! I’m in Deltona and just bought a very small Spicebush that has two small Spicebush swallowtail caterpillars on it. Does anyone have Spicebush in my area that wouldn’t mind taking these little guys? Thanks!
If don’t end up finding any spicebush for them, in Florida they will feed on other members of the laurel family including camphor tree and Persea sp. like red bay and swamp bay. Caterpillars are sometimes hesitant to switch foodplants once they’ve started feeding but all of the spicebush swallowtails’ foodplants are closely related and seem to be chemically similar so I can’t imagine it would be an issue.
How small is the spicebush though? From what I’ve seen spicebush swallowtails aren’t terribly destructive, i’ve seen them feeding and growing to maturity on pretty small sassafras saplings and had the saplings survive fine into the next year. If it’s growing well it might be fine as long as it has at least ~20 or so leaves.