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.

  • For an interesting read on one person's experience with these strange caterpillars, head over to the North American Butterfly Association.
  • For technical facts and details of this caterpillar and the adult Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly, take a look at BugGuide.

1 comment:

  1. i am a 12 year old boy who loves bugs and animals but mostly bugs i pin them this was a useful website for my report in science i did it on the pipevine swallotail love the website thx