Caterpillar Camouflage Revealed

Peek-a-boo…  I see you!

? caterpillar

I know I resemble a snake or a manatee but can you guess who I really am? Do you know exactly what species I will turn out to be. Leave a comment with your best guess, but hurry I will be revealing my true identity soon!

brown cat

I am starting to change… Do you recognize me still? I am a different color now but have the same melancholy lavender eyespots. I have turned brown because I am no longer grazing and resting upon green leaves. Now I am a stealthy climber looking for a place to safely switch my identity. I don’t want anybody to see me as I move about the dark colored branches.

chrysalis 3angles

Ok, I am guessing you may really have a hard time knowing me now. I have not only lost my lavender eyes but my legs too. Scary Looking Tree Bark is my new look, quite the trend in the Chrysalis World and camouflaging too! Hope you like it and if you think this is cool just wait until you see what I do next!

Pale Swallowtail

Oh, there’s a bit of chill in the air now and the days have grown shorter! I have a feeling if I emerge from my chrysalis at this time I won’t have any friends to flutter with. Think I will stay as I am over winter, patiently waiting, resting  inside my cozy shelter.

pale swallowtail

I will dream of the suns warm rays gently awakening me from my slumber. I can feel the winds raising me up to dance with the heavens. Upon bright wings, gracefully I will soar, adorning skies and embracing sweet flowers.  I am boundless and free as a Butterfly.

I am a Pale Swallowtail Butterfly
(Papilio eurmedon Lucas)

Look to the skies and watch for me and my friends, we will be in flight come springtime.

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14 Responses to Caterpillar Camouflage Revealed
  1. Julie
    September 22, 2009 | 8:32 pm

    My guess… a Tiger swallow tail

    I found one similar crawling in the middle of a huge parking lot.
    It was orange in color had a black band – like a Collar – around what I thought was it’s neck. Also noticed a black pulsating line from it’s tail to the head on the middle top back.
    I took it home and the same day it formed a bark like Chrysalis. Waiting for the big reveal.
    BTW I live in Salt Lake City, UT

    • Vickie
      September 23, 2009 | 9:03 am

      Yes, it is a swallowtail, but we are waiting for the butterfly to emerge to announce which species. Please let us know when your swallowtail butterfly emerges and send us pictures. Keep in mind that if the butterfly does not emerge after a couple weeks, it could be overwintering. Swallowtails can overwinter for several years…. Watch this video so you can tell if your chrysalises is viable or not. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPa6tMrRlAY

      • Julie
        September 28, 2009 | 5:49 am

        Thank you Vickie for your reply.

        I saw that video, but can’t bring myself to touch it. Prefer to just let it be and wait. I wish I had gotten photos as a caterpillar. It turned the same day I found it.
        Will let you know when it emerges.

        • Julie
          November 18, 2009 | 9:25 pm

          MY chrysalis stays untouched. Almost 2 months now.

          Any suggestions on where it should “hibernate”? cooler/dark etc…

          • OWB
            November 20, 2009 | 10:08 am

            Try to place your chrysalis in a safe place in your home where it is exposed to the natural lighting and temperatures of the current season. Take care, however, to keep it out of direct sunlight and away from any drafts created by heaters or air conditioning units. Also, remember to be patient, Mother Nature always goes at her own pace and this chrysalis could be the one who decides, in order to ensure the survival of its species , to wait several years before coming out. 🙂 Have fun and take care… Kristen

  2. Casimir
    September 15, 2009 | 9:42 pm

    Great photographs! That caterpillar does seem to have a sad, worried expression. Looking forward to seeing the butterfly emerge from her chrysalis, when the time is right. 🙂

  3. Vickie
    September 11, 2009 | 8:17 am

    Speaking of “How long it takes for a butterfly to emerge from it’s chrysalis”…Well, I just had an Anise Swallowtail Butterfly emerge from it’s chrysalis after 4 long years! It emerged as a healthy, beautiful butterfly and was certainly worth the wait! Don’t discard those old swallowtail chrysalises. Watch this YouTube video to find out if your swallowtail chrysalises is viable or not ~ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPa6tMrRlAY

  4. Kristen
    September 10, 2009 | 9:25 pm

    “it’s not nice to fool (or rush 😉 Mother Nature!” Just teasing… I know we are not talking about Chiffon here… Let’s see, the Chrysalis stage is usually between 7-10 days but can be more depending on the weather…

  5. Katy
    September 10, 2009 | 9:24 pm

    How much longer?!

  6. Jonah
    September 9, 2009 | 10:26 am

    is it maybe a Papilio glaucus/Eastern tiger swallowtail

  7. Glenn
    September 4, 2009 | 7:41 pm

    It is either the Western Tiger Swallowtail or the Pale Tiger Swallowtail. The Orange County Chapter NABA lists Holly Leafed Cherry as a plant for the Western Tiger but not the Pale so I will say Western Tiger Swallowtail.

  8. Kristen
    September 2, 2009 | 10:33 pm

    Katy you’re close… but you have not been specific enough. I will give you a hint… I found and photographed this funny looking guy on a holly leaf cherry tree near where I live and typically only swallowtail caterpillars flaunt the fake-eyed, green snake look. You might have to consult a caterpillar guide book (which I am so sure you have handy 😉 or go googling to find the answer… good luck … I will post a pic of the actual butterfly soon!

  9. Katy
    September 2, 2009 | 10:31 pm

    looks kind of like the sphinx moth caterpillar, but not quite… I don’t think it is a monarch, and definitely not a mourning cloak. Maybe a swallow tail?

  10. Mike
    September 2, 2009 | 10:04 pm

    A Monarch Butterfly???

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