Help! Crazy caterpillar-like bug w/orange forked "tongue"

Los Angeles, CA

Solved it with the help of FB. It's a Spicebush Swallowtail, "While the larvae are in the early stages, they are dark brown in color and thus appear to resemble bird droppings, which encourages predators to leave them alone." It's far outside its supposed area, but still appears to be correctly identified.

What is this?! Found in South Los Angeles elementary school garden on the rue plant. We poked its butt and that crazy orange forked "tongue" emerged.

This message was edited Nov 26, 2012 9:55 PM

Thumbnail by meganbluebird
Minot, ND

This actually appears to be a larva of a giant swallowtail, Papilio cresphontes. It is known to feed on rue in addition to its favored citrus plants. -

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Agree with Flapdoodle, it is indeed a Giant Swallowtail that has been disturbed and is showing it's osmeterium, a forked gland
which secreats a stinky smell. It is a defense against preditors. Here is the beautiful adult butterfly that will emerge for the very plain looking chrysalis.

Thumbnail by Sheila_FW Thumbnail by Sheila_FW

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