The Spicebush Swallowtail is found only in the Eastern US and extreme southern Ontario, with occasional strays in the American Midwest and even Cuba. Adults can be identified by their spoon-shaped tails and by their bright green (male) or iridescent blue (female) hind-wings. Ivory spots may be visible on the forewings, and orange spots may appear on the hindwings. Wingspan may be 3 to 4 inches.

The caterpillars of these butterflies live in folded leaf shelters and eat the leaves of the sassafras or spicebush.


Adults consume a variety of nectars, including those from azalea, Japanese honeysuckle, milkweed, and thistle flowers.
Both sexes are thought to be edible mimics of the distasteful Pipevine Swallowtail.
Taken in my yard in Amherst, Virginia with my Canon Powershot SX110 IS


butterfly, insects, yard, caterpillar, virginia, ginnyyork, canon powershot


  • cherylc1
    cherylc1almost 5 years ago

    Awesome capture!!

  • Thanks so much Cheryl. Two people here on RB…chstudios and steppeland linked the caterpillar and the butterfly up for me! Pretty amazing.

    – Ginny York

  • hereforfun
    hereforfunalmost 5 years ago

    Beautiful capture Ginny, love the colour at the base of his wings !

  • Thanks Trudi! I like the colors too. :))

    – Ginny York

  • Edyth Counter-Griffis
    Edyth Counter-...almost 5 years ago

    lovely in all stages! . Great capture!

  • Awwww. Thanks so much! I think so too. :))

    – Ginny York

  • FelicityB
    FelicityBalmost 5 years ago

    Beautiful shot Ginny, but I love the caterpillar!!

  • Thanks so much Felicity! I love the caterpillar too! :)) Thanks for the fav!!!

    – Ginny York

  • LavenderMoon
    LavenderMoonalmost 5 years ago

    Wonderful shot… and excellent information on the butterfly and caterpillar… very cool photo of that, too!

  • Thanks so much Lavendar Moon! I was glad to be able to link these two together thanks to chstudio for letting me know the type of caterpillar… and steppeland for leading me to Wikipedia to see the butterfly it turned into.

    – Ginny York

  • lorilee
    lorileealmost 5 years ago

    A beautiful capture!!!

  • Thanks so much Lori!!

    – Ginny York

  • Diane Schuster
    Diane Schusteralmost 5 years ago

    What a gorgeous butterfly, love the colors, that catapiller is wonderful! Dee

  • I love the colors of this one too. I have a shot somewhere from last year of this same type. I never knew back then that it was my cute little caterpillar turned butterfly! Thanks so much!!

    – Ginny York

  • Melinda Gaal
    Melinda Gaalalmost 5 years ago


  • Thanks so much Melinda!! Glad you like it! :))

    – Ginny York

  • GiselaSchneider
    GiselaSchneideralmost 5 years ago

    Oh Ginny, your capture is excellent! wonderful focus, composition and DOF!!!! exciting image, a winner!!!!

  • Woo Hoo.. Gisela! So glad you like this so much! Thanks for adding it to your favorites!! Isn’t it pretty?

    – Ginny York

  • cdudak
    cdudakalmost 5 years ago

    Beautiful capture Ginny, these are one of my favoriates

  • I don’t see too many like this one…but they sure are pretty. Thanks so much Kay!

    – Ginny York

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