What is this?
October 16, 2009
We found this on a dwarf orange tree in our yard today (October 16, 2009) and would like to know what it is. It had apparently eaten half a leaf in the morning. In the evening it was on another leaf, which it had begun to consume. It move it’s head vertically when I first moved my hand toward the leaf upon which it perched. We would love to know what it is. Thank you!
San Diego, CA
Dear Dr. TJ,
This is an Orange Dog, the caterpillar of the spectacular Giant Swallowtail. We gladly sacrifice a few leaves on our citrus trees to be able to enjoy this beautiful butterfly in our garden. The resemblance of the Orange Dog to bird droppings is a camouflage mimicry device.