Early instar of swallowtail?
I love your site – I am amazed at what people will put in their hands. Anyway, I have been using the fab book Caterpillars of Eastern North America to try and identify some caterpillars in my veggie garden in Southern New Jersey but think I have become a bit to eagle eyed as they are all very small and none of them seem to be in the book! I think I am not versed enough in the various instars and color variations that caterpillars can come in. This is the most recent caterpillar my husband and I have found. She was on a dill plant that is smooshed between tomato plants. She appeared on June 25 in the evening. Only about 1/2″ long. The white bands in the middle are really throwing me. Who is she? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
Caterpillars undergo five instars, each followed by a molt. The fifth molt results in the chrysalis stage. Each of the five caterpillar instars results in a larger size, and in some species, a radically different appearance. This early Black Swallowtail instar looks nothing like the fifth instar caterpillar with the distinctive black and green stripes and yellow spots.