What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

ficus creature
Heya guys, Cool site. I live in South Florida and I found this tasty little morsel under a ficus tree after a July rain storm. I don’t know if it crawled there or fell from the tree. Any way I hope it wasn’t poisonous! So what was it? seeya,

Hi Britt,
We do not recognize your caterpillar, but have decided to post it before trying to identify it. Structually, it resembles a Milkweed Butterfly in the subfamily Danainae, but not the species represented on BugGuide found in Florida. The coloration is quite different. It also doesn’t matche the species found on Geocities from Australia. We wonder if perhaps this is some tropical species that found its way to Florida, or if it is an escapee from a butterfly pavilion.

Update: (07/15/2008)
Had we not had one of these caterpillars posted on Bugguide about a week ago, I never would have known what it was, either. But, it is the larva of the “ruddy daggerwing” butterfly, native to Florida. Neat find, great pic!

Thanks Eric for the information about the Ruddy Daggerwing, Marpesia petreus.

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