We are living in Patzcuaro, Michoacan, Mexico. We found this caterpillar in our yard. Some of the locals say that if you are bit by it, you will be down with a fever for several days. One of the coolest features is the visible pulsing of fluid down the black line along its back. Any clues as to what it is or will become? Thanks. My 6 year old son, Eli, will appreciate your response. The yogurt container in the photo is a quart size and the caterpillar is probably 7 or 8 cm long.
This is the second Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar sent to us from Mexico today. The locals are wrong, though this caterpillar does have an interesting defense mechanism besides the protective markings which mimic a snake. Swallowtail Caterpillars possess an osmetrium, an orange forked scent organ that remains hidden until the caterpillar is provoked.