Subject: Western tiger swallowtail caterpillar?
Location: Santa fe nm
July 5, 2014 9:05 pm
Found this super handsome caterpillar in our yard! He looks pretty close to finding a place for his transition
Signature: Sjhizny

Swallowtail Caterpillar near to pupation

Swallowtail Caterpillar near to pupation

Dear Sjhizny,
There are several butterflies similar looking to the Western Tiger Swallowtail that also have similar looking caterpillars, so your location is helpful in narrowing the possibilities.  According to BugGuide, species other than the Western Tiger Swallowtail,
Papilio rutulus, which range in New Mexico include: the Two Tailed Swallowtail, Papilio multicaudatus, and possibly the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Papilio glaucus, which is reported as far west as Texas and Colorado and possibly the Pale Tiger Swallowtail, Papilio eurymedon.  The coloration on this individual indicates it is approaching the time to transform into a chrysalis.  Your image is quite stunning.  

Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico

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