Looks like a giant swallowtail caterpillar (Papilio cresphontes)
giant swallowtail caterpillar face - Papilio cresphontes - BugGuide.Net
About the ugliest thing I've ever seen!
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This is a discussion on What Caterpillar is this? within the A Kodak Moment: not necessarily plants... forums, part of the Orchid Photography category; My neighbor was going to squish this...then I decided to grab the camera and perhaps ...
My neighbor was going to squish this...then I decided to grab the camera and perhaps save a future butterflies life. lol Could anyone tell me if this guy is a keeper? Or is it one that I should squish?
The top view:
The front view:
Any guesses? I may just let it live in the lemon tree....
this will become beautiful butterfly don't squish it
It looks like a toddler's attempt to make a snake out of really old play-doh ...
Nice of you to spare his life!
I would'nt think that its a caterpillar at first. I would definitely feed it to my nepenthes, but
then I saw how beautiful this thing is going to be. Im a sucker for butterflies.
A face only a mother can love!
second pix really looks like a python head, interesting!
Yucky catterpillar turns into a wonderfully beautiful butterfly, dont squish it let it be so long as it doesnt eat everything. It really is an ugly devil ( reminds me of a bit of a small snake ) but everything deserves his place in the world especially if he turns out to be that beautiful flutterby.
A friend of mine in California had something similarly as nasty looking. I looked it up at the time, and told her to leave them alone, because they would turn into Giant Swallowtails. I don't know that she ever listened to me though.
Anyhow, if memory serves, something I read at the time, alluded to this caterpillar resembling bird poop, and that's its protective mechanism. Keeps the birds and other critters from even wanting to go near it. Mother nature is so brilliant sometimes!!
Please keep an eye on it, and maybe photograph the progress from lavae (this stage) to full grown butterfly.
And keep in mind, the story of the Ugly Duckling!!! It turned into a beautiful swan, and this little creature will be no different (well, except it will be a butterfly, not a swan.. LOL) if given a chance to grow and thrive.