what kind of creature is this
Location: coeburn virginia
November 8, 2010 8:14 pm
found this in the yard this summer ….can you tell me what it is??
Signature: amanda mills

Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar

Hi Amanda,
You have discovered the caterpillar of a Spicebush Swallowtail,
Papilio troilus, and judging by its coloration, it is getting ready to pupate.  The Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar is a green creature that blends into the leaves upon which it feeds.  It has large eyespots to dissuade any potential avian predators that might try to eat it because the bird may be fooled into thinking the harmless caterpillar is a predatory snake.  The coloration of the caterpillar changes to golden or even orange just prior to metamorphosis, at which time it will leave the safety of the branches to hunt for an appropriate location to transform into a chrysalis.  Autumn is the season that our website receives the most identification requests for spiders and caterpillars as they become more visible at that time of year.

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