I think the black swallowtail butterfly caterpillar (Papilio polyxenes) is really pretty and I have never complained that it eats so much of my dill. How unlike the Giant swallowtail butterfly caterpillar I showed yesterday. However they both have the forked osmeterium that they exhibit when they are provoked and alarmed. It sends out a bad smell to discourage predators. I got to see what I thought was a forked tongue when I was trying to put my caterpillar into a jar, but when I wanted him to perform for my husband by poking him (gently) he remained cool. Or shy. I don’t know which.
What I learned. There is more than one type of swallowtail. I should have known that. What are the odds there is only one type? And I learned each variety has a different range (understandable) and slightly different appearance in each stage of development. Male and female also have slightly different markings. So much more to learn.
Thank you to Wikipedia for the photo.