Anise Swallowtail (Papilio zelicaon)
This is the current stage of last week's unknown caterpillar! I got an almost instant ID from the folks at Bug Guide, and I should have recognized the little fella because we have raised them in the past. I just had never seen such an early instar before. This morning I was eager to show my son and granddaughter the tiny black and red caterpillar in its viewing box, but there was this new creature instead, green and yellow and amazing. The dark stuff on the leaf is the black skin it just shed. I've included another image in Extras in honor of Halloween--it looks like its entire face has dropped off, like a discarded mask. Here is a link to a page on Bug Guide that shows the entire unbelievable miraculous life cycle of this tiny creature.