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

Subject: Caterpie
Location: Central Texas
April 15, 2017 9:08 am
This little guy was outside of my house. I was curious to what he is. When I poked him he let out a forked “horn”. What is he?
Signature: Jorge

Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar

Dear Jorge,
This is the caterpillar of a species from a group of butterflies in the genus
Papilio known collectively as Tiger Swallowtails.  The ranges of several species overlap in Texas and their caterpillars look quite similar.  We do not have the necessary skills to provide you with the exact species of your Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar.  We can tell you that the “forked ‘horn'” you observed is a scent organ called the osmeterium that gives off a foul odor in order to deter predators.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Found on a lemon tree in FL
Location: Florida
April 11, 2017 7:55 pm
My Aunt found this fella on her lemon tree and there is debate as to whether it’s an Elephant Hawk Caterpillar or an Orange Dog. Please, help to clarify, she didn’t check to see if it had the scented appendages that an orange dog would display while threatened, unfortunately. Thank you for what you do!!
Signature: The Artist Formally Known as Starving

Orange Dog

Dear Artist Formally Known as Starving,
This is definitely an Orange Dog, the larva of a Giant Swallowtail.  The Elephant Hawkmoth is NOT a North American species.  Interestingly, though its native range is Eastern North America, most of our Giant Swallowtail sightings now come from Southern California as the butterfly’s range has increased due to the cultivation of citrus.  The species has adapted to feeding on the leaves of citrus, which is not native to North America, but it now seems to be a preferred host plant.  We believe Giant Swallowtails were first reported in Los Angeles in the late 1990s, and now they are quite common (t)here.  According to the Los Angeles Times in 2007:  “The giant swallowtail butterfly,
Heraclides (Papilio) cresphontes, is native to the Southeast. Since the 1960s, populations have spread west following a corridor of suburban development and the species’ favorite larval food source — citrus — through Arizona, into the Imperial Valley, then San Diego and north to Orange and Los Angeles counties. They’ve been sighted as far north as Santa Barbara and Bakersfield.  Numbers have surged since 2000, says Jess Morton, president of the Palos Verdes-South Bay chapter of the Audubon Society. Members have held a butterfly count at the same location, on the first Sunday in July, every year since 1991. According to their records, a single giant swallowtail was first seen in the South Bay in 2000. They counted 23 in 2007.”

THANK YOU SO MUCH. You broke it down for us and everything!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Identify
Location: Texas
April 8, 2017 6:15 pm
This bug/insect was found in Texas.
Please identify.
Thanks
Signature: Mary Ann

Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar

Dear Mary Ann,
This is one of the Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillars.  There are several species found in Texas and we haven’t the necessary skills to provide an exact species name.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Brown and white insect
Location: Sydney, Australia
March 3, 2017 5:44 pm
Hi bugman,
8 of these have appeared on my mandarin tree this morning. Are they a danger to it?
We’ve just moved from summer to autumn, and I love right near the central city, if that helps?
Signature: Lee

Citrus Swallowtail Caterpillar

Dear Lee,
This looks like an early instar Citrus Swallowtail Caterpillar,
Papilio aegeus, based on an image posted to the Brisbane Insect site that states:  “The first and second instars larva closely resembles a fresh bird dropping. The larva feed singly on food plants. They usually feed during the day and rest by night on the upper side of leaves.”  The fifth or final instar larva is an impressive caterpillar that will produce a forked, red osmeterium, a defense organ that releases a foul odor that will dissuade predators.  If this is a mature tree, it can handle losing the number of leaves eaten by eight caterpillars, and you will benefit from having adult Citrus Swallowtails flying in your garden.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unknown critter
Location: Galveston, Tx
November 25, 2016 10:24 am
Hi,
No, this is not a stuffed toy! Found this 1 1/2″ critter on my patio in Galveston, Texas 2 days ago. I did not touch it but my neighbor’s young daughter put in her hand and it was crawling around in her hand. Any idea what it could be??
Signature: Lonnie

Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar

Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar

Dear Lonnie,
This is a Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar.  The adult Spicebush Swallowtail is a large black butterfly with colorful spots and “tails” on its underwings.

Daniel,
Thank you so much, this was driving me crazy!! Glad to hear it is a butterfly as this is my first year to raise and release the Monarch butterfly.
Thank you again

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: moth?
Location: Vancouver BC Canada
October 29, 2016 9:56 am
They seem to be stationary over 2 days, they seem not to have even moved
I am an arborist and found them on a young ash tree, could they be feeding on the sap?
They are about 2 inches or 5 cm long and the photo taken in late October 2016
Signature: Richard Lange

Swallowtail Chrysalis

Swallowtail Chrysalis

Dear Richard,
This is the Chrysalis of a Swallowtail Butterfly in the genus
Papilio.  Since you are an arborist and you were able to identify the tree, we suspect this is the Chrysalis of a Pale Swallowtail, a species with a caterpillar that feeds on the leaves of Ash and other trees, and that ranges in your area.  According to BugGuide:  “Larvae feed on foliage of woody plants in several families: Rosaceae (cherry, e.g., Prunus emarginata, Holly-leaved Cherry, Prunus ilicifolia), Rhamnaceae (California Coffee-berry, Rhamnus californica, Ceanothus spp.), Oleaceae (ash, Fraxinus) and Betulaceae. Overwinters as pupa, adults emerge in spring. Males seek hilltops for mating.”  Based on the BugGuide information, you will have to wait for spring to see the adult Pale Swallowtail emerge.

Thank you so much for your fast reply
Kind Regards
Richard Lange – Tree MD®

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination