Bug on plants

Asked September 12, 2019, 2:46 PM EDT

Are these harmful to my parsley plants or will they just turn into a butterfly? Thank you.

Frederick County Maryland insect or spider id beneficial insects and pollinators

1 Response

Hi - This is the caterpillar of a swallowtail butterfly. In the caterpillar stage of their life cycle, they can only eat certain types of plants ("host plants") and parsley is one of their preferred plants. Just leave them be. Eventually, they will stop eating and transition to the pupal stage and then become adult butterflies. Here is an article with information about them.
http://bugoftheweek.com/blog/2018/9/17/parsley-poacher-black-swallowtail-caterpillar-ipapilio-polyxe...

Christa