What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

bald looking caterpillar
Location: western maryland
August 10, 2011 7:57 pm
What is this strange creature?
Signature: curious

Pre-Pupal Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar

Dear Curious,
This is a Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar, and its dark purple coloration indicates that it is pre-pupal and about to begin metamorphosis into the chrysalis stage.  When a typically green Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar nears the end of its stage as a caterpillar, it loses interest in feeding upon the leaves of its host tree, including, according to BugGuide, black cherry, tuliptree, sweet bay and swamp bay, and it begins searching for a suitable location for pupation, often leaving the tree.  At this time, the green coloration often changes to orange or dark purple, like the color of your individual.  Here is a matching photo from BugGuidefor confirmation.

Pre-Pupal Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Maryland

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