giant swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONFIRMATION STATUS: Confirmed.


FAMILY: Parnassians and Swallowtails (Papilionidae)
SUBFAMILY: Swallowtails (Papilioninae)


IDENTIFICATION: Forewing with diagonal band of yellow spots. Tails

are edged with black and filled with yellow.


LIFE HISTORY: Males patrol for receptive females. Females lay single

eggs on host leaves and twigs. Caterpillars resemble bird droppings and

eat leaves and young shoots. Chrysalids hibernate.


FLIGHT: Two in the north from May-September; all year in Florida and
the Deep South.


WING SPAN: 4 - 6 1/4 inches (10.2 - 16 cm).


CATERPILLAR HOSTS: Trees and herbs of the citrus family (Rutaceae)
including citrus species, prickly ash (Zanthoxylum americanum), hop
tree (Ptelea trifoliata), and common rue (Ruta graveolens).


ADULT FOOD: Nectar from lantana, azalea, bougainvilla, bouncing Bet,
dame's rocket, goldenrod, Japanese honeysuckle, and swamp milkweed.


HABITAT: Many locales including rocky and sandy hillsides near streams
or gullies in the north; pine flats, towns, and citrus groves in the south.


RANGE: Throughout eastern North America west to the Rocky
Mountains, south through the desert Southwest to South America.
A rare stray to Quebec, North Dakota, and Bermuda.


CONSERVATION: Not required in the United States.


NATURESERVE GLOBAL STATUS: G5 - Demonstrably secure glob-

ally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the
periphery.


MANAGEMENT NEEDS: Caterpillars ("orange dogs") are occasional

pests of citrus.


SKY MEADOWS OCCURRENCE:

 

Note: Due to seasonal conditions in this region, occurrence may vary from

year to year. The designation of occurrence may range over two or more

categories and may vary even during a single season.

 

Key to Checklist

A   Abundant: Easy to see very large numbers of individuals in appropriate habitat
      at proper time of year.
C   Common: Usually each to see good numbers of individuals in appropriate habitat
      at proper time of year.
U   Uncommon: Sometimes found in appropriate habitat and proper time of year,
      usually in low numbers.
O   Occasional: Found in appropriate habitat perhaps only a few times a year, usually
      in low numbers.

R   Rare: Small chance of being found, even in appropriate habitat at proper time of
      year. There are few individuals and may not be present every year.
X   Extirpated: Formerly present, no longer occurs in Sky Meadows Park.

 

      January

      February

      March

      April
      May

      June

      July

      August

      September

      October

      November

      December

 

 

Back to Inventory of Butterfly Families and Species

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