Tuesday, June 2, 2009
The Pipevine Swallowtail Caterpillar
This Pipevine Swallowtail caterpillar is a fascinating creature. It eats only Pipevine plants and is often found (as pictured above) wondering through dirt and death to find pipevines.
A couple of weeks ago, I posted a picture of this Pipevine caterpillar along with other photographs of Catalina State Park, but I had no idea what kind of caterpillar it was. I'm really glad I took the time to identify it. It was trekking through the Tucson heat, through the desert, and through a maze of dead branches searching for its only source of food. It is a fitting metaphor for perseverance. Be like the Pipevine Swallowtail Caterpillar, my friends.
One quick note about this particular caterpillar, most Pipevine Swallowtail caterpillars are black with orange/red spots, but here, in Tucson, they seem to show up in this bright red/orange variation.