(Charlotte, NC) I found this little caterpillar in one of my herb boxes in the garden today when I was watering. I had just watered the parsley when I noticed him and he rose up and appeared to have sprayed something out of his mouth I guess. I guess I made him mad, so I ran inside and got the camera and starting taking photos of him. The photo and this description is the best I can do. I would really like to know what this little guy is called. I thought I had him figured out, but then I noticed that when he got mad a different set of little yellow horns came out when he was spraying that liquid and that the photo I was looking at didn’t have the gold spots. I appreciate your help in advance and I hope the photo gives you enough details to identify. Please note and keep in mind that he does have some water droplets on him before I noticed him. Thank you again for your kind help.
Your caterpillar is that of the black swallowtail butterfly.
They are also called the Parsley swallowtail, dill worm, Parsley worm, celery worm…
This is because they do feed on dill, parsley, celery, fennel, and carrots (any plant in the carrot family). The larvae do change color as they go thru several stages of development before they turn into a pupa and then the adult. The butterflies feed on nectar.
These are found in eastern North America as well as southwest US. There are 2 generations in the northern areas and 3 in southern areas.