Gray and White Worms

sam_mcgowan(Z9 TX)September 7, 2010

I just found some odd-looking gray and white worms on some shoots off of a lemon tree stump. They are feeding on the leaves. I found a similar one some time ago on a small lemon tree that I purchased earlier. That one kept coming back after I'd knock it off until I finally killed it. The are about the size of caterpillars, mostly gray with white patches on them. Any ideas from anyone on what they are?

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They are the zebra butterfly caterpillars. They eat a lot of leaves, but they don't harm the tree. They really stink if you touch them too. Cheryl

    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 4:26PM
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Oops! My mistake, not the zebra, it's the black and yellow swallowtail. Cheryl

    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 4:52PM
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sam_mcgowan(Z9 TX)

I went back and found that one had gotten back on the leaves of the lemon tree. Actually, I'm not so sure it's not a slug rather than a caterpillar. It's about 2 inches or so long and the coloring is actually sort of mottled, with dark gray, light gray and some light brown. The only places I've seen them are on lemon leaves.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 5:19PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Giant swallowtail caterpillars look different at various times. At one stage they are brown/gray and with their shape they do look sort of slug like. They also look like a bird dropping to fool predaters.

Here's a picture I took of one on my Satsuma citrus. If it looks anything like this Cheryl is right.

If so -- lucky you! They make beautiful large butterflies.

Here is a link that might be useful: Giant swallowtail life cycle ...

    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 5:48PM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

That is one ugly caterpillar!

    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 11:16PM
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