CLOSED: Mystery caterpillar.please ID
What was it eating? Looks like it might be an immature larvae of the Giant swallowtail.
What an interesting little fellow! The collar and painted-on eyes are really incredible... you didn't do that, did you, wannadanc?
Possibly a Two-tailed Swallowtail? http://www.npsc.nbs.gov/resource/distr/lepid/bflyusa/id/mor708.htm
or this looks even closer, the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail http://www.enature.com/fieldguide/showSpeciesGS.asp?curGroupID=2&curPageNum=10&recnum=BU0637
This message was edited Thursday, Sep 12th 8:06 PM
This message was edited Thursday, Sep 12th 8:10 PM
This message was edited Thursday, Sep 12th 8:11 PM
Thank you so much - I vote for Two tailed swallowtail!!!
I need to get a good larvae book - could not believe I couldn't locate this one, and also knew I had "seen pictures" of it .......somewhere!!!!!
My neighbor found it - just hunkering along on the grass, I believe.....so no clue as to food source.
Those protuberances were going in and out of the head of the little guy - so strange to watch that going on!!! You could see moisture on them when you shifted it in the light.....boy, I need to go back to school to learn some things about caterpillar morphology.
Thank you again!!!!!!!
Vickie, it says Caterpillar hosts: Leaves of ash (Fraxinus), hop tree (Ptelea), and chokecherry (Prunus).
If you have any of these to feed him you can probably keep him. He'll make a chrysalis then become a butterly. He's a pretty thing, that's for sure!
On further inquiry, I learned the neighbors dog was rolling it along in the gravel .......... I encouraged them to put him/her out in the "woods" - away from the dog. Those protuberances are called "osmateria" - my new word for the day, and are the source of the acrid smell. That you, Floridian, for the wonderful links that added to my knowledge base!!!
I think he's cute too. It's like he's raising his head screaming Mama! Mama! Mama! Get this dog away from me before he squishes me!!!
LOL - Considering that this HUGE dog loves to roll in anything stinky, I can believe the Mama screams!!!!