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Parsley Worm, Eastern Black Swallowtail Caterpillar

Papilio polyxenes


"First instar larvae grow to about 1.5 cm (0.59 in) long and resemble bird droppings. They are dark black with a white band in the middle and have spikes, with a light brown-orange ring at the base of each of the spikes in the dark region (spikes are white on the white band). Later instars grow to about 5 cm (2.0 in) and are green and black banded with yellow spots around every second black band. They have short, black spikes around some of the black bands, although these tend to disappear as the larva nears pupation."(Wikipedia)


"...small, yellow eggs are laid, typically on plants from the carrot family, Apiaceae, including dill, fennel, Queen Anne's lace, parsley, and golden alexanders. They are also found eating rue and bishop's weed." (Wikipedia)


We found these on a distressed parsley plant at our local Walmart today. The plants were being disposed of so we bought the plant to spare the 16 caterpillars.

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Spotted by

Gallatin, Tennessee, USA

Lat: 36.38, Long: -86.48

Spotted on Jul 9, 2012
Submitted on Jul 10, 2012

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