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

caterlippars in my parsley
I suspect these hungry guys (2 of 8 that were in our parsley plant) will, in a later life, be Black Swallowtail Butterflies – but correct us if we’re wrong. We’ve got a large Hydrangea bush next to the parsley where they’re making the “big change” – its been fun to watch -worth the parsley they’ve devoured! We live in Southern New Jersey ~ 15 miles east of Philadelphia, PA. Thanks for answering a lot of bug mysteries – we visit often.
Dan M.

Hi Dan,
We are happy you visit often. You are correct, these are Black Swallowtail Caterpillars, often called Parsley Worms or Carrot Worms.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Weird caterpillar in BC
Hi there:
I just found this guy today (Sep 5/05) crawling up the side of my house in the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. Any ideas? He’s got several rows of 4 blue dots each and what look like false eyes on his back, and is about 1.5 inches long. I live next to an apple orchard and asked the owner who said he’d never seen anything like it. Let me know, please!

Hi Bill,
This is a Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar. Most specimens are green, but we have been getting images of these purplish brown ones this year. They feed on leaves from cherry, birch, poplar, ash and tulip trees. Perhaps they eat apple as well.

Ed. Note: Eric Eaton just provided this addendum: “From what I understand, the swallowtail caterpillars turn brown just before they pupate, which makes sense since they usually pupate on brown surfaces (tree branches, fence rails, and the like). That is a really nice specimen the person photographed. Keep up the great work. Eric ”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Giant Swallowtail caterpillar and unknown caterpillar
I live in central Mexico in Guanajuato state and found this Giant Swallowtail caterpillar crawling across our porch. I ID’d him from the web and found that he belonged on our lime tree that’s many feet from where he was seen crawling. Today he’s happily munching away, though another one I spotted on the tree when I replaced him is no where in sight. I see that you do have a picture of a Giant Swallowtail caterpillar but I thought you might like one without the horns up. He sported his twice when I went to place him back on the lime tree leaves. Kinda cool to see. Otherwise, he looks like bird droppings (which I know is his clever camouflage), especially when he’s still. The other critters I also found on the same lime tree. It seems to be home to several insect species, including a variety of ants, jumping spiders and the itinerant bee or wasp. I spotted these little fuzzy white guys on the underneath side of some of the leaves toward the base of the tree. They’re about 1/4″ in diameter as far as I could tell. They were in kind of a precarious place so I couldn’t get really close. I don’t see anything on your site that resembles them. They’re too small for an asp, I think, and don’t really look like that. Any clues?

Hi Stephanie,
We are happy to post your Giant Swallowtail Caterpillar, commonly called an Orange Dog. Your other image came through as garbage and we can’t view it.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Probably so simple — what’s this caterpillar?
Hi, Bugman — it’s 2:08 a.m. and I’ve been looking through your website for a couple of hours. I really ought to be trying to get some sleep — I am a stay-at-home Dad of 19-month old twins — but the site is fascinating. When a question about a furry caterpillar’s identification came up at the playground today, I gave two people your web address. I have seen these caterpillars before but never photographed any until tonight. I didn’t see anything quite the same on your site, so I’d like your help. Any thoughts? My wife and I live in Arlington, Va, in case that’s helpful. Many thanks for a great site and lots of interesting photos and information.
Thanks again for hours of fun.
David Foose

Hi David,
If you only knew about the hours we spent on our site instead of sleeping. This appears to be a Sulphur Butterfly Caterpillar in the genus Colias. Caterpillars feed on clover, alfalfa and other legumes.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Chrysalis on fennel plant
We had tiger swallowtail caterpillars on our fennel plants recently and I noticed this chrysalis last night. How long until it hatches? I love your website, I’ll definitely be sending pictures in for identification. This was taken in Clayton, North Carolina, August 1, 2005

Hi Ken,
This is definitely a Swallowtail which is recognizeable because the crysalis is upright and has a support strand of silk around it. Not a Tiger though since fennel is not a food plant. In your area, I would guess a Black Swallowtail which feeds on carrots, parsley, Queen’s Anne Lace and related plants. I am not sure if the Anise Swallowtail ranges in your area. That would be a first choice in the West.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Black Swallowtail Caterpillars
I found these critters on your site, thanks! Your response to another reader suggested you might need another photo, so here’s a close-up of my garden pests.

Hi Lisa,
Thanks for the image. They really don’t eat that much parsley and you will have a lovely butterfly to follow.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination