Currently viewing the category: "butterfly caterpillars"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What’s this caterpillar?
Geographic location of the bug:  Hingham, MA
Date: 09/23/2017
Time: 08:38 AM EDT
Hello, my sons have never seen this type of caterpillar and would love to know what it is called and more about it!
How you want your letter signed:  #askingforhersons

Pre-Pupal Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar

Dear #askingforhersons,
This whimsical looking caterpillar is a pre-pupal Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar.  The orange color indicates it is pre-pupal, and just prior to pupation, the normally green caterpillars often turn orange when they leave the trees they have been feeding upon to search for an appropriate site to commence metamorphosis.  Here is a BugGuide image for comparison.  Interestingly, we have many more images on our site of the caterpillars than we do of the beautiful black adult Spicebush Swallowtails with their distinctive green spots.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Caterpillar?
Geographic location of the bug:  Anaheim, CA
Date: 09/09/2017
Time: 09:33 PM EDT
Three of these on my lime tree.
How you want your letter signed:  Nuck

Orange Dog

Dear Nuck,
This is an Orange Dog, the caterpillar of a Giant Swallowtail, a butterfly native to the southeastern states of North America.  The cultivation of citrus trees in Florida provided a host plant that the caterpillars will eat, and the Giant Swallowtail expanded its range to follow citrus cultivation, eventually reaching Southern California in the late 1990s.  It is now well established in California.  You may lose some leaves, but that is a small price to pay for the joy of seeing the magnificent Giant Swallowtails gliding gracefully around your yard.

Orange Dog

Thanks.  I love seeing the swallowtail.  Exciting. Do the caterpillars have a predator?

While they don’t have a specific predator, we imagine they can become prey to birds, which is why they have evolved to resemble bird droppings as a form of protective mimicry.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What is going on here?
Geographic location of the bug:  Central Virginia
Date: 09/05/2017
Time: 03:23 PM EDT
Hello, what exactly is going on here, and what insect am I looking at? A very pretty green with gold sparkles!
How you want your letter signed:  Caroline

Monarch Chrysalis

Dear Caroline,
This is a the chrysalis or pupa of a Monarch Butterfly.  The Greek and Latin origins of the word chrysalis is gold, referring to the gold flecks often seen on many chrysalides, including the image you submitted.  When eclosion time nears, the orange wings of the Monarch Butter are visible through the exoskeleton.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Request ID
Geographic location of the bug:  Sanjay Van, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi, India
Date: 09/02/2017
Time: 11:18 AM EDT
Request ID please
How you want your letter signed:  Aparna Laad

Nymphalidae Chrysalis

Dear Aparna,
This is the chrysalis of a Brush-Footed Butterfly in the family Nymphalidae.  We will attempt a species identification for you, but chrysalis identifications are not easy to make.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Swallowtail?
Geographic location of the bug:  North Central Washington (Brewster)
Date: 09/01/2017
Time: 12:17 AM EDT
We have found a caterpillar which is new to us! It was apparently in a hurry to pupate, as soon as we housed it, it went to work. I think Mom is having the most fun here! 🙂
We are in the north central (Brewster) part of Washington State. This is a darker bluish green caterpillar with white and black eye spots and white and black collar. It turned to brown very soon after we found and housed it.
How you want your letter signed:  Elizabeth Brown

Western Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar

Dear Elizabeth,
We believe this is a Western Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar, but we would not rule out that it might be a related species like a Two Tailed Swallowtail Caterpillar.

Pre-pupal Western Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bright red caterpillar
Location: Southern Arizona ( Santa Cruz county)
August 25, 2017 7:58 pm
I have been noticing these bright red caterpillars during my evening walks.
They are on a plant that I have not found on our property, so that may be their host plant
Do you know what is caterpillar is ?
Signature: Len Nowak ( Salero Ranch )

Pipevine Swallowtail Caterpillar

Dear Len,
This is a Pipevine Swallowtail Caterpillar, and according to BugGuide:  “Larvae feed on
Aristolochia species. These include ‘Pipevine’ or ‘Dutchman’s Pipe’, Aristolochia species (tomentosa, durior, reticulata, californica), as well as Virginia Snakeroot, Aristolochia serpentaria. Larvae presumably take up toxic secondary compounds (including Aristolochic acid) from their hostplant. Both larvae and adults are believed toxic to vertebrate predators, and both have aposematic (warning) coloration.”  The adult Pipevine Swallowtail is sometimes called a Blue Swallowtail and it is a gorgeous butterfly.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination