Eastern Black Swallowtail

This is a newly hatched baby eastern black swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes). It’s only about 6mm long, practically invisible on this plant. By the time it’s ready to become a butterfly, it will have molted four or more times, and will be about four inches long (see photo below)!

The white spot on its back is intentional — at least, it is camouflage, making the baby look kind of like bird poop.

Late-instar eastern black swallowtail caterpillar (Papilio polyxenes)

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