What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: A new creature for me
Location: SW Orange County –
June 3, 2017 1:17 pm
I have lived in NC, in the woods, for over 25 years but this was new. I didn’t even know where to begin looking it up: Beetle? Bug? Caterpillar? Poisonous for my hens or safe?
Signature: Virginia

Pipevine Swallowtail Caterpillar

Dear Virginia,
This is the caterpillar of a Pipevine Swallowtail,
Battus philenor.  Adult Pipevine Swallowtails are lovely greenish-blue butterflies with orange spots on the undersides of the wings.  According to BugGuide:  “Caterpillar is quite distinctive, may be a mimic of the tropical onychophorans, called velvet worms. Dark brownish black (occasionally smoky red) with soft fleshy tentacle-like projections, usually red-orange dorsal warts over abdomen. Tentacles on T1 twice as long as those on following segments. ”  We are post-dating your submission to go live later in the month when our editorial staff is away on holiday. 

Thank you!  Yes, what a beautiful butterfly from such a distinctly different caterpillar.  And the caterpillar was so large!  I really appreciate learning more about my friends in Nature.  Virginia Leslie

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Orange County, North Carolina

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