While the adult butterfly has many regional subspecies and subsequent color differences, the larva of the White Admiral butterfly consistently looks like bird poop regardless of its geographic location. Two branching antlers grow from behind the head. The center of the body has a white patch while the rest of it is a mottled brown-black, gray or green. Segments near the head and rear end are raised, giving the body a bumpy profile.
Look for a single egg at the tip of a leaf. The spherical egg may be white or pale green, but it is covered with short, glass-like spines that grow up from between hexagonal indentations. Willow, oak, basswood, black cherry, and birch are just some of the deciduous trees that are host plants. Though the caterpillar is not considered attractive, especially to birds, the adult butterfly is a celebrated beauty.
The map above showcases (in blue) the states and territories of North America where the White Admiral Caterpillar may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data can be useful in seeing concentrations of a particular species over the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some species are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America.*NOTE: States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the White Admiral Caterpillar. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.