Please Identify.

gwang gwang at
Tue Aug 31 18:19:17 EDT 1999

Hello Katie,

Well, my best guess is that it's a member of the Tiger Swallowtail
family (consisting of 6 species in North America), or that it's a
Spicebush Swallowtail.
I am unsure as to which one it is specifically since your description
is...well, undetailed.  All swallowtial caterpillars have the orange
horns (the technical term is osmeterium), and it's used for defence, and
again most swallowtail caterpillars will have fake eyes of one sort or
another.  Also it would really be helpful if you told me where you are

Here's some more info on the 7 species I mentioned:
1.  Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) found in the Eastern
U.S. and southern Ontario in Canada.
2.  Canadian Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio canadensis) found in Canada
mostly but also the Northern U.S. states.
3.  Pale Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio eurymedon) found in Western Canada
and the U.S. from Alberta, through to British Columbia, and down though
4.  Spicebush Swallowtail (Papilio troilus) with distribution similar to
Papilio glaucus.
5.  Two-Tailed Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio multicaudatus) with
distribution similar to Papilio eurymedon.
6.  Three-Tailed Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio pilumnus) found mainly in
Mexico and Central America but is occasionally found in the Southern
U.S. as well in Texas.
7.  Western Tiger Swallowail (Papilio rutulus) with distribution similar
to papilio eurymedon.

Those are probably all of them in North America, but chances are it's
Papilio glaucus since it's the most common.

Hope this helps,
Xi Wang

TBug147 wrote:
> I have in ownership a Swallowtail Caterpillar. It can be identified as a
> swallowtail in "An Instant Guide To Insects"  by Pamela Forey and Cecilia
> Fitzsimons on page 41.  I read that there were over 35 species! How can I tell
> which of the species it is? It's coloring is a very dark green, it has one
> yellow ring with black around it and fake eyes on it's back. It also has orange
> "horns" that it ocasionally sticks out. Please send me information regarding
> what it eats, what invironment to provide and which of the species it is. I can
> be e-mailed at
> TBug147 at
>                                         Thankyou,    Katie

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