Spicebush Swallowtail preparing for winter

October 2, 2012 John Bugs

The vibrant orange caterpillar from the last post has been identified thanks to the help of the /whatisthisbug/ subreddit.  He goes by the name Papilio troilus – or more commonly, the spicebush swallowtail.

About a week after spotting the first one, I saw another walking around in a similar spot on the driveway.  Is it the same guy?  Possibly!  Although they take on a bright orange color, the final stage before going in to the cocoon involves turning a dark green or brown (depending on the time of year.)

If it were spring, the caterpillar would be turning the color of the leaves right now.  But since winter is coming, he’s preparing with a brown color that will blend in well during the colder months.

The butterfly these guys turn in to is absolutely beautiful, so here’s to hoping I can snag a picture of one or two in a few weeks!

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Large orange caterpillar

September 28, 2012 John Bugs

Met this funky little guy the other day:

He was crawling along the back porch, probably looking for a place to hang out and eat some leaves.  After checking out the trash can for a few moments, he wasn’t too happy with it and ran off to find some better spot to chill.

But when I tried to lift him up on a sheet of paper and carry him to the yard, he reared up like a snake in a rather impressive – and momentarily convincing – act of mimicry.

And once he realized that I probably wasn’t going to eat him, he relaxes and starts walking along the porch again.  Eventually I got him to a nearby bush and hopefully he was able to find some food and cover.

Anyway, I thought this bug looked really cool, so I wanted to share it with the web!  I figured I had some cheap hosting available on Dreamhost that I hadn’t completely maxed out the resources on yet, so I set up this domain for these pics and any other cool nature shots I can get.

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