Zebra Swallowtail – Eurytides marcellus (Cramer, 1777)
Canon EOS 30D DSLR; 70-200 mm f/2.8

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.


  • Steve Bulford
    Steve Bulfordabout 6 years ago

    Really great colour and detail, and the depth of field is spot on too!

  • SandraRos
    SandraRosabout 6 years ago

    GREAT STUFF ! ! ! So swanky and marvelous !

  • louisegreen
    louisegreenabout 6 years ago

    So beautiful, that is an amazing butterfly

  • turtlepath
    turtlepathabout 6 years ago

    Beautiful! lucky you to even see one, but beautiful pictures.

  • Dave7074
    Dave7074about 6 years ago

    Wonderful colours and beautiful butterfly Lisa. :) dave

  • Squealia
    Squealiaabout 6 years ago


  • courier
    courierabout 6 years ago

    Oh, man. Is there ever good? The lighting is so fantastic – it just makes the shot so exceptional to me. love it.

  • JimFilmer
    JimFilmerabout 6 years ago

    beautiful colours – the series of shots is excellent

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