We love watching butterflies! Getting to know butterflies is fun, but can be difficult at times and frustrating as you try to learn new ones. Likewise, identifying caterpillaries can be overwhelming ... let's start with just a few common ones!

Black Swallowtail Caterpillar

 

Read about the Black Swallowtail

Black Swallowtail Caterpillar

Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar

 

Read about the Spicbush Swallowtail

Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar

Gulf Fritillary Caterpillar

 

Read about the Gulf Fritillary Butterfly

Gulf Fritillary Caterpillar

Variegated Fritillary Caterpillar

 

Read about the Variegated Fritillary Butterfly

Variegated Fritillary Caterpillar

Monarch Caterpillar

 

Read about the Monarch Butterfly

Monarch Caterpillar

Eastern Tent Caterpillar

 

Eastern Tent Caterpillar

Tersa Sphinx Caterpillar (Xylophanes tersa)

Shown eating on Pentas

The upperside of the Tersa Sphinx moth's forewing is pale brown with lavender-gray at the base, with dark brown lines. The upperside of the hindwing is dark brown with a band of whitish, wedge-shaped marks.

Read about the Tersa Sphinx Moth

Tersa Sphinx Caterpillar

Tersa Sphinx Caterpillar (Xylophanes tersa)

Another instar (brown) of the Tersa Sphinx caterpillar

Tersa Sphinx Caterpillar

Tersa Sphinx Caterpillar (Xylophanes tersa) dining on Pentas

Another instar (brown) of the Tersa Sphinx caterpillar

Tersa Sphinx Caterpillar

 

Is It a Black Swallowtail Caterpillar or a Monarch Caterpillar?

The caterpillars of the Black Swallowtail butterfly and the Monarch butterfly each feature markings which are yellow, white and black. Which one are you seeing? Compare the images below for the differences between the two caterpillars.

Comparison between the Black Swallowtail caterpillar and the Monarch caterpillar