Black Cat (Black Swallowtail, Papilio polyxenes)

black caterpillar with spiky tubercles on stem of plant
Early instar black swallowtail caterpillar, Papilio polyxenes, on Queen Anne’s Lace.

A wee kiddo of a butterfly, a.k.a. the parsley worm, is a prickly creature at the beginning of its free-moving life cycle. It will look very different before it pupates, including losing those spikes (of which you can see some last vestiges in this shot).


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