Caterpillar id

Asked September 20, 2020, 8:33 PM EDT

Can someone identify this Caterpillar found in Sabillasville?

Frederick County Maryland

1 Response

This is the caterpillar of the Zebra Swallowtail butterfly. They feed only on Pawpaw trees (Asimina triloba), though like most caterpillars can wander about when ready to form a chrysalis as a means of evading predators searching for them on their host plant. This time of year, the chrysalis will overwinter and hatch next spring - typically April, around the time Pawpaw starts to flower. You can leave it in any sheltered spot outdoors for it to find a suitable site to settle-down. (Preferably on or around plants that aren't cut down or cut back between now and spring.)

Here is a gallery of Zebra Swallowtail images from around Maryland: