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The black swallowtail caterpillar has an orange "forked gland", called the osmeterium. When in danger, the osmeterium, which looks like a snake's tongue, everts and releases a foul smell to repel predators. Black swallowtail chrysalis The pupae may be green or brown, but not depending on surroundings or the background on which they have pupated. The color of the chrysalis is determined by a local genetic balance that ensures the majority of pupae will blend in.
Open meadows and backyards wherever their favorite plants grow; ranging from southern Canada into Mexico.