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
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.
Calendar of Events
Sky Meadows Park
Crooked Run Valley