Saturday, August 9, 2014

Giant Swallowtail

This Giant Swallowtail Butterfly (Papilio cresphontes) flew through my front yard, paused briefly at my Oak Leaf Hydrangia, and continued on to the Butterfly Bush in my back yard. Giant Swallowtails are one of the three largest butterflies in North America and have a range that includes most of the US. The wing span of a Giant Swallowtail can reach up to 5 1/2".

Also known as "Orange Dog", in Florida, due to the fact that citrus trees are the caterpillar's host plant in that area. In Indiana the host plant is the Common Prickly Ash (Zanthoxylum americanum).
  The butterfly was kind enough to display both sides of it's wing surfaces which also shows how worn and tattered the wings are. Unfortunately this beautiful butterfly is at the end of it's adult stage.