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Photo#233799
Western Tiger Swallowtail caterpillar - Papilio rutulus

Western Tiger Swallowtail caterpillar - Papilio rutulus
In the hills on the Oakland / Berkeley border, Alameda County, California, USA
October 14, 2008
Size: 4-5 cm long x 1.5 cm thic
Larva (caterpillar) for Western Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio rutulus) butterfly found on wooden steps in my garden, at an elevation of about 900 ft.. Shapiro's field guide says this caterpillar is rarely seen because it is usually high in trees. We had very high winds during three days previous to my finding this creature - seems likely it was blown out of a tree. Posed for these pictures on Western Spice Bush, which is probably not a host plant.

Images of this individual: tag all
Western Tiger Swallowtail caterpillar - Papilio rutulus Western Tiger Swallowtail caterpillar - Papilio rutulus Western Tiger Swallowtail caterpillar - Papilio rutulus

Moved to guide
and also edited to reflect the fact these are immatures (caterpillars). Please use the checkboxes on the submission form if you post more images of larval forms, as for butterflies and moths we can already sort by immature/adult, and we may get the ability to do so for other insects in future. Nice shots!

BTW your caterpillar appears to be full-grown, so may be looking for a place to pupate, rather than having fallen down (they attach themselves pretty strongly).

 
Western Tiger Swallowtail caterpillar
Thanks, Hannah. I know absolutely nothing about caterpillars, so I was thrilled to have this be my first ever!

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