Wisconsin Native Caterpillars
Giant Swallowtail Caterpillar
Genus-Species: Papilio cresphontes
Description: Larvae strongly resemble bird droppings.
Exact patterns change as caterpillars molt and grow, but they retain the basic brown with
cream-and-white patches coloration. Fully grown caterpillars look like small brown snakes
when viewed head-on.
Chrysalis: Crusty brown. Resembles a broken twig.
Host Plants: Prickly ash (Zanthoxylum americanum)
and Hoptree (Ptelea trifoliata)
Habitat: Woodlands and open areas near woodlands,
where the larval host plant, Prickly Ash, is found.
Comments: The Giant Swallowtail is an uncommon
stray in most parts of Wisconsin.
Caterpillars come in many colors, shapes, and sizes. Some caterpillars are quite hairy,
while others are smooth. Despite differences between species, though, all caterpillars
share certain morphological features.
Take this quick quiz and see how much you know about caterpillars. This quiz is intended for fun, in
a random-facts-can-be-cool kind of way.
How does this magic happen? Learn about metamorphosis - the process of transformation from an
immature form to an adult bitterfly.