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Photo#649866
Spiky caterpillar   - Polygonia interrogationis

Spiky caterpillar - Polygonia interrogationis
Columbia County, Pennsylvania, USA
Size: 2 1/2 in.
What is this spiky caterpillar? ID help wanted. It was crawling up a birch tree (I think.)
UPDATE: One pupated!
UPDATE: Two more pupated!
UPDATE: One eclosed!
UPDATE: All pupated!
Update: All eclosed.
UPDATE: I now have eight chrysalises.
UPDATE: One eclosed-it was a Question mark!

Images of this individual: tag all
Spiky caterpillar   - Polygonia interrogationis Spiky caterpillar   - Polygonia interrogationis Spiky caterpillar   - Polygonia interrogationis Spiky caterpillar   - Polygonia interrogationis Spiky caterpillar   - Polygonia interrogationis Question Marks eclosing  - Polygonia interrogationis Question Marks eclosing  - Polygonia interrogationis

Moved
Moved from Butterflies (excluding skippers).
I moved it because nobody else had, and I'm pretty sure the ID is correct.

Moved
Moved from ID Request.

They all look like Polygonia interrogationis
Rather than Birch, they look to me like they are (?) on Elm (Ulmus), which is a favorite food plant for this butterfly.

 
Thanks.
Thanks.

Polygonia interrogationis
I would lean toward Question mark (Polygonia interrogationis) because of the reduced spines on the head, the orange stripe on the side, and the orange coloration.

 
I have more
I found a few more that seem paler in color, maybe they are different. I will post a few pictures of them later.

 
more
I have added new pictures. They were all found on a birch tree.

 
It's common
to find a bunch of question mark cats in a small area due to the way the eggs are laid. It is a bit unusual that they're on birch, as elm and hackberry are the more common food plants.

 
I think...
I now think that it was, indeed, an elm tree. I have been raising them, and hopefully I will be able to post some pictures of the chrysalises. I found about eight of them.

its
a questionmark or a comma

 
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