A Man Thought His Son Dropped a Piece of Cheetos on His Shoe and Discovers It Was Something Else Entirely Before He Attempted to Flick It Off


When Adam Zurn went to his backyard one day, he slipped into his usual gray Crocs that he leaves on the back porch of his home. He keeps them there and slips them on whenever he goes to his backyard. When he was about to put them on, he noticed a small orange thing hanging on the side of his shoe. Assuming it was a Cheetos puff, he attempted to flick it off but discovered it was something entirely different.

“I thought my son had dropped a Cheeto or was being funny and stuck the Cheeto on my shoe,” Adam said. Before he could flick it off, he looked closely when it moved. He realized it was not a piece of Cheetos Puff but an orange caterpillar! The tiny critter had spots on its body and big eyes. “I was like, ‘Oh, it’s this super orange-looking caterpillar guy.’”

Adam was not sure what species of caterpillar it was, so he resorted to a community on social media, uploaded the photos he captured, and asked: “The pattern makes him look like a cartoon character with huge Disney princess eyes,” Adam wrote in a Facebook post. “What kind is it?” Comments started flooding his post, revealing the type of caterpillar he discovered. Searching the internet, Adam realized it was the Spicebush Swallowtail, the larvae of the North American Swallowtail butterfly!

Fact: The Swallowtail butterfly goes through 3 stages of larvae. First, they are brown or white, then they change into color green, then finally into bright orange, which Adam found on his Crocs. When the 3 caterpillar stage ends, they will form into a cocoon. Soon, they will emerge as a beautiful black North American Swallowtail butterfly with white spots.

After learning about the caterpillar, Adam left it on the grass where it would not be stepped on. He never saw the caterpillar again since but was hoping he would encounter others next year. He claims he would keep his eyes peeled for more of them.

“I’d never seen anything like that,” Adam said. “But who knows? Maybe I’ll see another one next summer.”

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Images credits: © Uncharted Lancaster/Facebook, Donald W. Hall, Kristen Gilpin, Joy Brannon, and Linda Lapre

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About the Author: Ria P. Jacinto

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