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Posted in Caterpillars Garden Worms Worms Generally

Brown Worm in Toilet is an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly Caterpillar

A woman in Maryland found this worm swimming in her mother-in-law’s toilet and hopes that we can help ID the critter. The worm in questions appears to be a mottled brown color, with a segmented body and a yellow band near its head, as well as a pair of eye spots just below the stripe.

Caterpillar in hand
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Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillars – The “Worms” with Large “Eyes”

A reader recently sent us an excellent photograph of what appears to be a Tiger Swallowtail caterpillar. The reader was only wondering what kind of “worm” she found, so we’ve already answered her: she didn’t find a worm, but rather a caterpillar, and we are pretty sure this caterpillar is a Tiger Swallowtail caterpillar. However, we can’t just assert this without giving any explanation, so we’ll quickly supply one and then come to a speedy conclusion.

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Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar

A couple wrote to us about a “worm” they found that might be of interest to their grandchildren. (Actually, they said their “G-Kids,” which we presume to be grandchildren, although GKIDS is also an acronym for a few different things, muddying the situation.) The readers were right to put the word “worm” in quotation marks, as the creature they found is not a worm, but rather a caterpillar. Indeed, we are fairly certain it is a Tiger Swallowtail caterpillar. Below is some basic information about the Tiger Swallowtail caterpillar, along with a nice picture of the caterpillar submitted by the readers.

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Green, Brown Caterpillars with “Eyes”

We received a question from a reader about a very strange-looking creature she found on her driveway. Although we aren’t completely certain, it looks like a caterpillar; in any event, it looks more like a caterpillar than any other creature, and besides that, we’re pretty sure it’s a caterpillar anyway, to be as convoluted about our relative certainty as possible. The caterpillar is brown and green – more precisely, it is a mix of brown and green, which almost makes the caterpillar look like it is covered in moss. The caterpillar also has two large “eyes” (in fact, they are eyespots, which are faux eyes), and near these “eyes” is a yellow line or stripe that appears to wrap around the creature. The reader was quite alarmed by her find, writing to us “WHAT IS THIS?!?!,” and also urgently asking “Can someone HELP”? (Emphasis not added.) The reader also thought she found a caterpillar, but then became uncertain when she examined what she had found up close. What is this brown, green caterpillar she found (if indeed it is caterpillar)?