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Insect Gallery

Swallowtail Butterflies

order Lepidoptera - family Papilionidae - subfamily Papilioninae

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1) Drinking in a garden.  2-5) Eating Snow-on-the-Mountain


Giant Swallowtail Papilio cresphontes

Photos taken in Taylor County, September 2005

Photo taken in Coleman County, September 2005

(Taylor, Nolan, Callahan, Edwards, Coleman, Brown)

Butterfly: 4 - 6 1/4 inches.  Eats nectar.

Caterpillar: Black with large white blotches that looks like bird droppings.  When annoyed, it rears up and two yellow "horns" protrude from head . Eats Prickly Ash and other citrus trees and herbs.

Pupa: Pupa is brown and "L" shaped with "wires" holding it up.  Chrysalides hibernate.





Western Tiger Swallowtail Papilio rutulus

Photo taken in outside Merced, California, September 1972

(Not native to most of Texas)


Other Species in My Area

Pipevine Swallowtail Battus philenor

2 3/4 - 5 inches.  Upper surface of hindwing iridescent blue or blue-green. Underside of hindwing with submarginal row of 7 round orange spots in iridescent blue field.

(Nolan, Shackelford, Callahan, Edwards, Coke, Coleman, Brown)


Black Swallowtail Papilio polyxenes

3 1/4 - 4 1/4 inches.  Upper surface of wings mostly black; on inner edge of hindwing is a black spot centered in larger orange spot. Male has yellow band near edge of wings; female has row of yellow spots. Female hindwing with iridescent blue band. In the Southwest, yellow forms predominate in the subspecies P. coloro.

(Callahan, Edwards, Coke, Coleman, Brown)


Two-tailed Swallowtail Papilio multicaudata

3 1/2 - 5 inches.  Upper surface of male forewing with narrow black stripes. Each hindwing has 2 tails.



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