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  Zebra Swallowtail      Eurytides marcellus     Swallowtails:
Swallowtails
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Comments:
The black and white striped Zebra Swallowtail can be confused with no other butterfly in the state. Adults have a low, rapid flight and adeptly maneuver among understory vegetation. Males regularly patrol territories for females. This swallowtail has a proportionately short proboscis and is thus unable to nectar at many long, tubular flowers. It instead prefers white and black composites and is regularly attracted to white flowers. Summer-form individuals are larger, darker, and have longer hindwing tails.
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Dorsal (Top View) on left.
Ventral (Bottom View) on right.
   
   
   
         
  Black Swallowtail      Papilio polyxenes     Swallowtails:
Swallowtails
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Comments:
The Black Swallowtail is one of our most commonly encountered garden butterflies. Its plump, green larvae, often referred to as parsley worms, feed on many cultivated herbs and may occasionally become minor nuisance pests. It is equally at home along farm roads or in rural meadows as suburban yards and urban parks. Males have a strong, rapid flight and frequently perch on low vegetation. Both sexes are exceedingly fond of flowers and readily stop to nectar. It is one of six eastern butterflies that mimic the toxic Pipevine Swallowtail to gain protection from predators.
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Dorsal (Top View) on left.
Ventral (Bottom View) on right.
   
   
   
         
  Pipevine Swallowtail      Battus philenor     Swallowtails:
Swallowtails
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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.
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Dorsal (Top View) on left.
Ventral (Bottom View) on right.
   
   
   
         
  Spicebush Swallowtail      Papilio troilus     Swallowtails:
Swallowtails
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Comments:
The Spicebush Swallowtail is one of four Florida butterflies that mimic the unpalatable Pipevine Swallowtail to gain protection from predators. Adults are strong, agile fliers but rarely stray far from their preferred woodland habitat and are infrequent in urban locations. A true lover of flowers, they readily venture out into nearby open areas in search of nectar and continuously flutter their wings while feeding. The larvae make individual shelters by curling up both edges of a leaf with silk. They rest motionless inside when not actively feeding. At maturity, the larvae turn yellow and wander in search of an appropriate site to pupate.
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Dorsal (Top View) on left.
Ventral (Bottom View) on right.
   
   
   
         
  Polydamus Swallowtail      Battus polydamus     Swallowtails:
Swallowtails
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Comments:
The Polydamus Swallowtail lacks the characteristic hindwing tails common to most other-North American members of the family. This trait, combined with its broad, yellow wing bands, makes the species easy to identify. It is a fast and powerful flier with a preference for open areas. Primarily a tropical butterfly, it is rarely found north of the Florida border. It is a common butterfly of suburban and urban gardens. Adults are good colonizers and readily disperse long distances in search of suitable hosts.
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Dorsal (Top View) on left.
Ventral (Bottom View) on right.
   
   
   
         
  Palamedes Swallowtail      Papilio Palamedes     Swallowtails:
Swallowtails
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Comments:
The Palamedes is Florida's most commonly encountered swallowtail. Adults have a strong, directed flight and avidly nectar at available blooms. Males often congregate at moist ground to imbibe diluted minerals and salts. The larvae have an enlarged thorax with a prominent pair of false eyespots that resemble the head of a small lizard or snake.
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Dorsal (Top View) on left.
Ventral (Bottom View) on right.
   
   
   
         
  Eastern Tiger Swallowtail      Papilio glaucus     Swallowtails:
Swallowtails
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Comments:
Easily recognized by its bold, black stripes and yellow wings, the Tiger Swallowtail is one of the state's most familiar butterflies. Adults have a strong, agile flight and often soar high in the treetops. A common and conspicuous garden visitor, adults are readily drawn to available flowers. Males often congregate in large numbers at mud puddles or moist ground. Darkform females mimic the toxic Pipevine Swallowtail to gain protection from predators. Females exhibit numerous intermediate-colored forms.
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Dorsal (Top View) on left.
Ventral (Bottom View) on right.
   
   
   
         
  Schaus' Swallowtail      Papilio aristodemus ponceanus     Swallowtails:
Swallowtails
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Comments:
Originally described in 1911 by William Schaus, a physician visiting Miami to treat yellow fever victims, this swallowtail is one of the rarest butterflies in Florida. Once found throughout much of Keys and extreme southern portions of the mainland, its range and population numbers have been severely reduced over the past half-century due to habitat loss and mosquito control pesticide use. Today, the butterfly remains primarily restricted to the intact hardwood hammocks of northern Key Largo and the islands within Biscayne National Park. Schaus' Swallowtail is Florida's only federally endangered butterfly.
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Dorsal (Top View) on left.
Ventral (Bottom View) on right.
   
   
   
         
  Giant Swallowtail      Papilio cresphontes     Swallowtails:
Swallowtails
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Comments:
Living up to its name, the Giant Swallowtail is one of the largest butterflies in Florida. The impressive adults are strong fliers but readily stop at colorful flowering plants to feed and are regular garden visitors. When nectaring, adults continuously flutter their wings much like a hummingbird. This behavior coupled with a long proboscis enables them to visit a wide range of flowers, including many that otherwise might not easily support their weight. Giant Swallowtail larvae, often called "orange dogs" because of their fondness for citrus, occasionally become minor pests in commercial orange groves.
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Dorsal (Top View) on left.
Ventral (Bottom View) on right.
   
   
   

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