I captured this Emperor Swallowtail while on a visit to the Tucson Botanical Gardens in Tucson, AZ.

Taken with my Canon Powershot S5is.

Emperor Swallowtail (Papilio ophidicephalus):

Largest Swallowtail in South Africa. The Emperor swallowtail can reach up to 12 cm across and is the largest Swallowtail in South Africa. The butterfly nectars on flowers in the characteristic Papilio manner with forewings beating and the hindwings virtually still. The hindwings of this species are particularly large. The Latin name ‘ophidicephalus’ means "snake-head’ refering to the mimic eyes on the hindwing. It is found in rain forest all over East Africa down to South Africa. The author has seen this species high up in the Drakensberg mountains in South Africa. It was feeding on Streptocarpus flowers, the only flower out in the shady summit woodland.


sherry pundt, butterfly, tucson, arizona, swallowtail, emperor swallowtail


  • Kimberly Chadwick
    Kimberly Chadwickover 3 years ago

    This is one of my faves from you gal! I love the DOF and the clarity in your focus!! Wonderfully done Sherry!

  • Thank you very much Kimberly! Funny how that old P&S still comes in handy and has some awsome

    – Sherry Pundt

  • Angela Pritchard
    Angela Pritchardover 3 years ago

    Beautiful shot. You should submit it to “Through The Lens” group.

  • Thank you Angela! I will do that thank you.

    – Sherry Pundt

  • 1Nino
    1Ninoover 3 years ago

    Super beautiful capture Sherry!!!….Tony

  • Thank you so much Tony! It was a joy to see all these guys fluttering around.

    – Sherry Pundt

  • Dayonda
    Dayondaover 3 years ago

    Gorgeous creature, Sherry!!
    Excellent capture; it shows this guy (girl?) off to greatest advantage! Expert shot.

  • Thank you very much for your enthusiastic comments!
    I really enjoyed capturing these guys.

    – Sherry Pundt

  • Ray Clarke
    Ray Clarkeover 3 years ago

  • JHRphotoART
    JHRphotoARTover 3 years ago

    great subject and composition

  • Thank you very much! I really enjoyed capturing this one.

    – Sherry Pundt

  • EagleHunter
    EagleHunterover 3 years ago

    This is a real beauty!

  • Thank you very much! I really thought this guy was beautiful.

    – Sherry Pundt

  • Roxanne du Preez
    Roxanne du Preezabout 2 years ago

    8 July 2012

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