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

Subject:  Caterpillar ID
Geographic location of the bug:  Warner’s Bay NSW
Date: 05/11/2018
Time: 04:12 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Can you identify this caterpillar which was on a dwarf Lime Citrus tree? I tried uploading a video before. Wouldn’t allow it. Couldn’t cancel it. Had to start over
How you want your letter signed:  Brian Holt

Orchard Swallowtail Caterpillar

Dear Brian,
This is the Caterpillar of an Orchard Swallowtail,
Papilio aegeus, and you can verify our identification on Butterfly House where it states:  “Although this Caterpillar is a pest on suburban Lemon trees, it is one of the most interesting caterpillars in Australia, Both its structure and its behaviour have evolved to an extraordinary degree to give it protective mechanisms against predators. It also grows into one of the largest butterflies to grace suburban gardens.”  Here is an image from FlickR.  Though they feed on the leaves, unless you have a very small tree and a large number of caterpillars, the damage is not lethal to the tree.  We would allow the caterpillar to remain so you can enjoy the adult Orchard Swallowtail.

Thank you for your help. This is exactly the advice I gave my customers on my gardening FB Page. I’d like to publish your response there.
Regards, Brian Holt
HOLTS Prestige Gardens

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Hong Kong
Date: 04/15/2018
Time: 11:52 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi there! We found these caterpillars on a lime plant we were growing in school. It is springtime in Hong Kong. There are many plants and trees in our playground, but there are no other lime plants here.  The lime plant was a growing project, And isn’t normally in the playground so I wonder if this is actually their usual food. Do you know what species these caterpillars are and what do they eat? Thank you
How you want your letter signed:  From Maddie

Common Mormon Caterpillars

Dear Maddie,
When caterpillars are found on a plant, one can with some assurance deduce that the caterpillar is feeding on that plant.  Butterflies and moths will lay eggs on plants that are suitable food sources for their caterpillars and that is what happened to your lime tree.  There are several species of Swallowtail Butterflies with similar looking caterpillars that feed on lime and other citrus tree leaves.  We believe your caterpillars are those of a Common Mormon,
Papilio polytes, and according to Butterflies of Singapore:  “The local host plants include the Indian Curry Leaf plant and various Citrus spp. One notable addition is the Mangrove Lime (Merope angulata) which was found to be utilized as larval host plant by members of the Plant Systematics group of the Department of Biological Sciences (NUS) in the recent past.”  The site also has nice images of the caterpillars and they look like your individuals.  We would not rule out that these might be the caterpillars of a Lime Swallowtail, Papilio demoleus, which is also pictured on the Butterflies of Singapore site.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Can you help me identify this caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
Date: 10/28/2017
Time: 09:49 PM EDT
Photographed this tiny dinosaur like caterpillar in the campus of the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bengaluru, India.
How you want your letter signed:  Bug Identified

Common Rose Caterpillar

We were immediately struck by the resemblance your Caterpillar has to the North American Pipevine Swallowtail Caterpillar, so we decided to research that lead and found images of the Common Rose Caterpillar, Pachliopta aristolochiae, on Wikimedia Commons that look exactly like your individual.  Images of the adult Common Rose are pictured on Butterflies of India.  The entire life cycle of the Common Rose is also pictured on Butterflies of India.

Common Rose Caterpillar

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What’s this caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  New Delhi, India
Date: 10/13/2017
Time: 01:03 AM EDT
Hi we found this caterpillar on a pole in our society. This is October so the weather is slowly turning cool. My daughter is very keen on watching its metamorphosis. But we really need to know what to feed it. Otherwise we will put it back in the garden. So need a quick reply.  Many thanks.
How you want your letter signed —
Mrinalini Singh

Swallowtail Caterpillar

Dear Mrinalini,
We believe this is the caterpillar of a butterfly in the family Papilionidae, many of which are known as Swallowtails, but we cannot provide anything more specific at this time.  The Butterflies of India site has images of many butterflies from the family.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Caterpillars
Geographic location of the bug:  Southern California, U.S.A
Date: 10/05/2017
Time: 04:23 PM EDT
Hi! So I was just watering my lemon tree when I found this little weirdo hanging out. He’s 2 inches long and is a very thick boi. He seems to have only eaten 3ish leaves, so I think a bird dropped him or something. He was moving a bit when I found him, but he’s been completely still for the past 10 minutes. There are also these clear dot things I can’t tell if they’re eggs or not.
How you want your letter signed:  With a signature

Orange Dog

This is the caterpillar of a Giant Swallowtail, commonly called an Orange Dog because they feed on the leaves or orange and other citrus trees.  The do not do enough damage to be considered a problem.

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