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Zebra Swallowtail I by Lisa G. Putman

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Zebra Swallowtail – Eurytides marcellus (Cramer, 1777)

Family: Parnassians and Swallowtails (Papilionidae)

Subfamily: Swallowtails (Papilioninae)

Identification: Upper surface of wings with black stripes on pale whitish-green background; hindwings have very long tails. Early-spring form is smaller and lighter colored.

Life history: Adult males fly in the understory near host plants to find females. Females lay single green eggs on lower leaves of host plant. Caterpillars live and feed on the underside of these leaves, then pupate and hibernate there.

Flight: Two flights, April-August, in the northern part of its range; many flights, March-December, in the south.

Wing span: 2 1/2 – 4 inches (6.4 – 10.4 cm).

Caterpillar hosts: Shrubs of the genus Asimina (pawpaw) in the Annonaceae family. Young plants are preferred.

Adult food: Moisture from sand and nectar from flowers including blueberry, blackberry, lilac, redbud, viper\’s bugloss, verbena, dogbane, and common milkweed.

Habitat: Breeds in moist low woodlands near swamps and rivers. Adults fly to nectar plants in open fields and brushy areas.

Range: Rare in northern part of range.

Conservation: Not usually of concern.

NatureServe Global Status: G5 – Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.

Management needs: Maintain host trees in various stages of succession.


  • julie08
    julie08over 6 years ago


  • velveteagle
    velveteagleover 6 years ago

    Such a beautiful capture.. So well done.. Way to go Lisa..

  • courier
    courierover 6 years ago

    Oh, Lisa – this is wonderful. I love it.

  • Squealia
    Squealiaover 6 years ago

    beautiful butterfly

  • Bobby McLeod
    Bobby McLeodover 6 years ago

    wonderful specimen! super detail!

  • kcranmer
    kcranmerover 6 years ago

    Wow Lisa amazing clarity and flawless focus!

  • turtlepath
    turtlepathover 6 years ago

    I am so envious of these shots-Zebra Swallowtails are getting scarce and these are lovely. ( I probably would be all shook up seeing it!)

  • Ken Boxsell
    Ken Boxsellover 6 years ago

    Such a magnificent composition of colour Lisa. Superb

  • Tom Newman
    Tom Newmanover 6 years ago

    Amazing capture Lisa, great :-)

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