Possibly Two-Tailed Swallowtail Caterpillar

Subject: Caterpillar ID
Location: santa fe, new mexico
October 26, 2013 4:08 pm
This one is from a friend in Santa Fe. It didn’t look like you had a photo on your site, so I figured I’d ask if you knew what species it was.
Signature: Patrick

Possibly Two-Tailed Swallowtail Caterpillar
Possibly Two-Tailed Swallowtail Caterpillar

Hi Patrick,
This is a Swallowtail Caterpillar, and it might be an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar, but considering your location, we think it is more likely the caterpillar of a Two-Tailed Swallowtail.  This image from BugGuide is a nearly perfect match to your individual.  Many caterpillars change color just prior to pupation.  This caterpillar was most likely green until just recently.  The orange color is an indication that it has finished feeding and it is searching for a good location to transform into a chrysalis.

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