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Pipevine Swallowtail 
Latin Name: Battus philenor
 
Genus: Battus    Species: philenor 
Family
Latin Name: Papilionidae
Common Name: Swallowtails
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Family Members
 
SubFamily
Latin Name: Papilioninae
Common Name: Swallowtails
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SubFamily Members

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Comments:
A relatively small member of the family, the Pipevine Swallowtail nevertheless has a strong, rapid flight. Adults frequently visit flowers but rarely linger at any one blossom for long. They continuously flutter their wings while feeding. The velvety black larvae sequester various toxins from their host. These chemicals render the larvae and adults highly distasteful to many predators. As a result, several other butterfly species mimic the color pattern of the Pipevine Swallowtail in order to gain protection.
   
Life Cycle:
Broods:
multiple generations
Egg:
brownish orange, laid singly or in small clusters
Larva:
velvety black with orange spots and numerous long, fleshy tubercles
Host Plants:
various pipevine species, especially Virginia Snakeroot
   
Host Plants:
Host Plants:
various pipevine species, especially Virginia Snakeroot
   
Habitat:
Habitat:
fields, pastures, roadsides, pinelands, woodlands
   
     
     
   
Wingspan:
Inches:
2.75 - 4
Centimeters:
7 - 10.2
   
Appearance:
Sexes:
dissimilar; female is dull black with a more prominent row of white spots
Compare:
Spicebush Swallowtail is larger with prominent pale greenish blue crescent-shaped spots along the wing margins. Red-Spotted Purple lacks hindwing tails. Black Swallowtail has yellow bands and an orange eyespot with a black center on the hindwing.
   
     
     
Markings:
 

Above:

  • an overall black butterfly; male has iridescent greenish blue hindwings; female is duller black with a single row of white spots near the wing margins  
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Below:

  • hindwings below are iridescent blue with a row of prominent orange spots  
 
Florida Distribution:
Abundance:
occasional
   

 

     

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Map Legend: Resident (green) | Stray (Red)


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