CLOSED: Mystery caterpillar.please ID

Olympia, WA


Thumbnail by wannadanc
(Zone 7a)

lol! I think he looks cute:) Have no idea what he is tho...

Westbrook, ME(Zone 5a)

What was it eating? Looks like it might be an immature larvae of the Giant swallowtail.

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

What an interesting little fellow! The collar and painted-on eyes are really incredible... you didn't do that, did you, wannadanc?

Lutz, FL(Zone 9b)

Possibly a Two-tailed Swallowtail?
or this looks even closer, the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

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

Olympia, WA

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 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!!!!!!!


Lutz, FL(Zone 9b)

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!

Olympia, WA

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!!!

Westbrook, ME(Zone 5a)

The dog probably liked the stinky smell - lol!!

Belfield, ND(Zone 4a)

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!!!

Olympia, WA

LOL - Considering that this HUGE dog loves to roll in anything stinky, I can believe the Mama screams!!!!

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