- My eyes make me look like a snake.
- These spots are just some of my fakes.
- I hide in plain sight with the greatest of ease.
- Then I grow up to fly in the trees.
The spicebush swallowtail caterpillar is a master of disguise. It goes through five phases before it becomes a chrysalis. In early phases, it looks like bird poop. In the last phase, it resembles a snake — first green then orange — with bold eyespots. These disguises may help protect it from predators. As adult butterflies, spicebush swallowtails live in the forest. They lay their eggs on the leaves of spicebushes and other shrubs and trees. Learn more at mdc.mo.gov/field-guide.
Looking for more ways to have fun outside? Find out about Discover Nature programs in your area at mdc.mo.gov/events.
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Angie Daly Morfeld