spicebush swallowtail (Papilio troilus)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONFIRMATION STATUS: Confirmed.


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


IDENTIFICATION: Upper surface of forewing is mostly black with

ivory spots along margin. Upper surface of hindwing has orange spot on

costal margin and sheen of bluish (female) or bluish-green (male) scales.
Underside of hindwing with pale green marginal spots.


LIFE HISTORY: Males patrol in woods, roads and woodland edges to

find receptive females. Females lay single eggs on underside of host plant
leaves. Caterpillars live in shelters of folded-over leaves and come out
to feed at night. Some chrysalids from each generation hibernate.


FLIGHT: 2 generations per year from April-October. In Florida, several
generations between March-December.


WING SPAN: 3 - 4 inches (7.5 - 10 cm).


CATERPILLAR HOSTS: Spicebush (Lindera benzoin), sassafras trees
(Sassafras albidum); perhaps prickly ash (Zanthoxylum americanum),
tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera), sweetbay (Magnolia virginiana),
camphor (Cinnamomum camphora), and redbay (Persea borbonia).


ADULT FOOD: Nectar from Japanese honeysuckle, jewelweed, thistles,
milkweed, azalea, dogbane, lantana, mimosa, and sweet pepperbush.


HABITAT: Deciduous woodlands, fields, roadsides, yards, pine barrens,
wooded swamps, and parks.


RANGE: Eastern states from southern Canada to Florida; west to
Oklahoma and central Texas. Occasionally strays to North Dakota,
central Colorado, and Cuba.


CONSERVATION: Not usually required.


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: None noted.


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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