In France it is le Flambé ('the Singed') due to its pattern of charcoal stripes, as if it has had a flame passed over it. They appear in gardens in the spring, but it is the second generation, emerging in July, that is most noticeable in lowland central France. This one was photographed in Elsie's garden in Chinon last July. The caterpillar was photographed in le Petit Pressigny, in the garden of some friends. It was traversing the gravel to find somewhere to pupate in the leaf litter, where it would overwinter. The September caterpillars are browner in colour to provide better camouflage. Earlier in the year, when they pupate in the fruit tree host plant, they stay green.
Scarce Swallowtail caterpillar, from September last year.It is often seen in organically managed orchards and gardens, as it will use a number of cultivated fruit tree species and their wild counterparts as caterpillar food plants. They like warm open slopes dotted with bushes, where they will glide from nectar source to nectar source, or engage in 'hill-topping'.