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Butterfly Similarities
Can you tell the differences between these caterpillars and adult butterflies?
The first indication of the species of caterpillar you have found is the plant it was found eating! Butterfly caterpillars are very restricted in their choice of food or host plant. A Tiger Swallowtail butterfly caterpillar will NOT eat fennel or parsley. An Eastern Black Swallowtail butterfly caterpillar will not eat Black Cherry or Tulip Poplar!
Spicebush Swallowtail (Papilio troilus) early instar larvae caterpillars have brown on their rear
Palamedes Swallowtail (Papilio palamedes) early instar larvae caterpillars do not have brown on their rear.
Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly
Papilio troilus
Caterpillar / Larva
has brown on its rear
Palamedes Swallowtail Butterfly
Papilio palamedes
Caterpillar / Larvae
do not have brown on their rear
Red-Spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis) butterfly caterpillar larva different than Viceroy (Limenitis archippus) butterfly caterpillar.
Red-Spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis) butterfly caterpillar larva different than Viceroy (Limenitis archippus) butterfly caterpillar.
Viceroy Butterfly
Larvae / Caterpillars
Limenitis archippus
Caterpillar / Larva have spikes on their humps
Eats willow.
Red-Spotted Purple Butterfly
Larvae / Caterpillars
Limenitis arthemis
do not have the little spikes on their humps
Eats willow, black cherry, deerberry, and a few other plants.
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
Caterpillar
Papilio glaucus
Eats rue, black cherry, sweet bay, poplar, and a few other trees.
Eastern Black Swallowtail
Caterpillar
Papilio polyxenes
Eats rue, parsley, dill, fennel, and other plants in the carrot family.
Adult Black/Blue Swallowtail Butterfly Look-alikes
Spicebush Swallowtail
Female
Papilio troilus
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
Black Form Female
Papilio glaucus
Eastern Black Swallowtail
Female
Papilio polyxenes
Adult Black/Yellow Swallowtail Butterfly Look-alikes
Eastern Black Swallowtail butterfly male (Papilio polyxenes) black and yellow
Palamedes Swallowtail butterfly (Papilio palamedes) black and yellow
Eastern Black Swallowtail Male
Papilio polyxenes
Black and Yellow Butterfly
Palamedes Swallowtail butterfly
Papilio palamedes
Black and Yellow Butterfly