Subject: never seen one
Location: mobile, al
May 1, 2015 1:36 pm
Found this eating camphor leaves. What in the world?
This is the Caterpillar of a Spicebush Swallowtail, Papilio troilus, and most of the images on our site are more mature caterpillars, including many that are turning orange just prior to pupation. Your earlier instar can be compared to this image on BugGuide. According to BugGuide, preferred food plants include: “Spicebush (Lindera benzoin), Sassafras trees (Sassafras albidum), Pondspice (Litsea aestivalis) Red, Swamp and Silk Bays (Persea spp.); perhaps prickly ash (Zanthoxylum americanum), Tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera), Sweetbay (Magnolia virginiana), and Camphor (Cinnamomum camphora).” The adult Spicebush Swallowtail is a beautiful butterfly.