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JOHNWJuly 14th, 2011, 6:32 pm
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
I realize these are not the exact perview of this forum however I couldn,t think of a better place to ask with the assembled knowledge which frequents the site.

I photgraphed this caterpillar in the garden eating my carrots this evening. The wife wants to dispatch of it directly since it is eating the greens of one of the very few carrots which are actually growing. To me it vaugely resemblesa monarch and as such I am hesitant to committ insecticide. Can any of the wise "bug guys" provide an identification?

If more info is needed I'll be more than happy to share it.
"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn
GONZOJuly 14th, 2011, 7:51 pm
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
Hi John,

I believe it is a Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes) caterpillar. The caterpillers are sometimes called Carrot Worms (among other things). They feed on a number of cultivated plants in the carrot family.
AdirmanJuly 14th, 2011, 9:02 pm
Monticello, NY

Posts: 490
Sounds very destructive but is also very pretty; too bad!
GONZOJuly 14th, 2011, 9:14 pm
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
Agreed.
JOHNWJuly 15th, 2011, 4:01 pm
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
Hi John,

I believe it is a Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes) caterpillar. The caterpillers are sometimes called Carrot Worms (among other things). They feed on a number of cultivated plants in the carrot family.



Does this mean that my parsnips are in jeopardy?


I don't mind them eating the carrots since of the 300 seeds we planted only 3 came up. Essentially we are writing them off anyway but the parsnips would mean WAR!
"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn
Jmd123July 15th, 2011, 7:10 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2457
Go put them on some Queen-Anne's-lace, a.k.a. wild carrot, and they'll be perfectly happy. Same plant family!

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...

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