Inchworm/Oak Besma? Butterfly?
Hello again What’s That Bug.
I noticed on the Caterpiller page you have the Inchworm/Oak Besma identification, but the picture is hard to see. I’d like to contribute my own. Again, these are found in my backyard in central Indiana. I have also included a picture of a butterfly I found at the Gatlinburg Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Aquarium in Tennessee. I searched the site, but I’m unsure as the type of butterfly it is. Can you help?
Heather Burdette

Hi Heather,
Your unidentified butterfly is a Tiger Swallowtail, Papilio glaucus, but a black morph. According to BugGuide: “A dark phase occurs in females through much of range, esepcially in southern states. The stripes are still faintly visible from some angles. The black females may be distinguished from other swallowtails from below, by the absence of the band of orange spots on the hind wing seen on Black and Spicebush Swallowtails, and lack of iridescent blue of Pipevine Swallowtails. ” We are not entirely sure your Inchworm is an Oak Besma. It appears to be feeding on a maple leaf and there are other Geometrid Caterpillars that look very similar. Bugguide lists the food plants as: “Oak, elm, poplar, willows, and white spruce.” So our verdict is maybe yes and maybe no.

Location: Tennessee

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