Currently viewing the category: "butterfly caterpillars"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Orange caterpillar (?) with face on it’s back?
Location: West Virginia
September 24, 2014 3:01 pm
Our kindergarten classes were outside on the playground at recess and found this bug. It has spots that appear to be a mouth and eyes on its head. We looked it up and thought perhaps it was a Pandora sphinx caterpillar but aren’t sure. My fellow teacher and I would love to know what it is so we can tell our classes more about it!
Signature: Welch Elementary Kindergarten

Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar

Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar

Dear Welch Elementary Kindergarten,
This distinctive caterpillar is a Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar.  The false eyespots might help protect the tasty caterpillar from predators like birds that may mistake a toothsome caterpillar for a much larger and potentially dangerous snake.  Spicebush Swallowtail caterpillars feed on a variety of trees, including “Spicebush (Lindera benzoin), Sassafras trees (Sassafras albidum), Pondspice (Litsea aestivalis) Red, Swamp and Silk Bays (Persea spp.); perhaps prickly ash (Zanthoxylum americanum), Tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera), Sweetbay (Magnolia virginiana), and Camphor (Cinnamomum camphora)” according to BugGuide.  They begin life as green caterpillars that are well camouflaged, but as the time for pupation nears, they often turn orange, leave the trees they have been feeding upon, and find an appropriate site to metamorphose into a chrysalis.  The adult Spicebush Swallowtail is a beautiful black butterfly with colorful markings.

Thank you so much!  We looked it up on the Smart Board and discussed the life cycle. We printed a picture of the butterfly so we can watch for them in the spring.
You have a great site!
Mrs. Merkle

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Some sort of catterpillar?
Location: Central New York
September 21, 2014 10:31 pm
Summertime in central new york. No idea what this bug is
Signature: Mac F

Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar

Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar

Dear Mac F,
This is the caterpillar of a Tiger Swallowtail.  Recent taxonomy has resulted in the classification of several different species based on the range, and several different species, including the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail and the Canadian Tiger Swallowtail have ranges that overlap in your vicinity.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Catterpillar
Location: Vernon, BC
September 13, 2014 4:43 pm
My boys and I found a Catterpillar. We can’t find what kind it is.
Early September in Vernon, BC Canada.
Signature: Poppy’s

Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar

Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar

Dear Poppy’s,
This is one of the Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillars, and based on your location, our best guesses are either a Pale Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar (see image on BugGuide) or a Western Tiger Swallowtail (see Bugguide for image).  The orange coloration indicates that this individual is nearing the time to metamorphose into a chrysalis.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Stalker Bird!!!
Location: Negeri Sembilan, MALAYSIA
September 6, 2014 11:41 pm
7 September 2014 2:00 p.m.
Hi again. I will have two id requests today, if you don’t mind. This is my first;
I was out in the garden photographing bugs (I have recently discovered the world of macro photography). Around the porch area, I found a bird thingy. It scared the living daylights out of me. Upon closer looking and some poking via a stick, I figured it was a moth pupa, but I don’t know which moth caterpillar make it. Above it, there is a single strand of silk. It is about 7 cm (3.8 inches) long. Is it a bird decapitated by a spider or a pupa. If it’s a pupa, what pupa is it?
Signature: TFO (Totally Freaked Out)

Swallowtail Chrysalis

Swallowtail Chrysalis

Dear TFO,
The quality of your images is quite poor, however we are able to distinguish the outline of the Chrysalis of a Swallowtail Butterfly in the genus
Papilio that was intact prior to your poking it with a stick.

Swallowtail Chrysalis

Swallowtail Chrysalis

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Western Tiger Swallowtail
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
August 16, 2014 11:59 AM

We had to stop pulling weeds long enough to clean our hands and grab the camera.  Several Western Tiger Swallowtails were flying about the garden and nectaring from the plumbago on the neighbor’s hill.  It wasn’t so long ago that we lamented that we couldn’t get a decent image of the large Swallowtails sailing about as they never seemed to alight.

Western Tiger Swallowtail

Western Tiger Swallowtail

We even managed to get shots showing both ventral and dorsal surfaces.

Western Tiger Swallowtail

Western Tiger Swallowtail

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s this Caterpillar
Location: Lundar Beach, Manitoba, Canada
August 11, 2014 9:49 pm
Can you please help me identify this caterpillar? It was one of five found feeding on some Johnny-Jump-Ups /mini pansies. I saw one moult the skin around its head and antennae.nnHow long will it feed as a caterplillar before making a chrysalis, and then how long to be a butterfly or moth. Thank you for your help. I also found a milkweed bug nearby. It looks like a hex bug. I really like insects, spiders, snakes and frogs. My Noni photographs them for me.
Thank you.
Jayden
8 yrs old
Signature: Jayden

Variegated Fritillary Caterpillar

Variegated Fritillary Caterpillar

Dear Jayden,
This pretty caterpillar is a Variegated Fritillary Caterpillar, and it appears to be nearly fully grown, meaning it will soon metamorphose into a lovely metallic Variegated Fritillary ChrysalisBugGuide has some valuable information, including:  “Permanent resident in south. Annually spreads and colonizes northwards usaully to southern Canada. Rarely encountered north of Great Basin west of Rockies, and north of southern California near Pacific Coast.”  BugGuide also states:  “Multiple generations per year (up to two or three in north, and four or more overlapping broods in south). Only overwinters in southern states. Overwintering stage is debated, but definitely as larvae, which are often found under logs, boards, and rocks during cold, and will wander around looking for food on warm mid-winter days. Perhaps can overwinter in all stages, depending upon the climate of a particular region.”  We interpret all that to mean that the lovely Variegated Fritillary may not be a permanent resident in your area, perhaps because the winters are too harsh for overwintering caterpillars to survive, though with global warming, things may be changing.  BugGuide data indicates sightings for Saskatchewan and Manitoba to be September and October, so perhaps this individual will emerge as an adult in the next two months, and that any progeny may not survive your winter.

THANK YOU!  Yes. That is the caterpillar for sure. My Noni and I thought it was a Crescent Butterfly larva.  But that caterpillar wasn’t an exact match.  Now I want to put one of the caterpillars in my bug keeper to watch it make it’s chrysalis.
Jayden

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination