Location: Scottsdale, Az
November 20, 2011 3:54 pm
We saw this insect at our home in Scottsdale, Az in early Nov 2011.
This caterpillar that mimics bird’s dropping is commonly called the Orange Dog because it feeds on the leaves of orange and other citrus despite it being a native species and citrus being Mediterranean. The Orange Dog will eventually metamorphose into a Giant Swallowtail, Papilio cresphontes. Though Giant Swallowtails are native to the southeastern U.S., they have more recently been reported in parts of the Southeast, including Los Angeles, CA, most likely because of the cultivation of orange orchards and accidental introduction from Florida or natural range expansion because of the availability of citrus to augment the native diet of ” Common Pricklyash (Zanthoxylum americanum), and Common Hoptree (Ptelea trifoliata)” according to BugGuide.