The Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly is a dark beauty with a range that covers most of the U.S. and Mexico.
This butterfly mimics the coloring the Spicebush and Eastern Tiger Swallowtail. They have elongated 'tails' at the tips of their hindwings, as do all members of the Swallowtail family.
Rusty-black caterpillars have clusters of bright red hairs feed along the top and sides of the body. They fee on noxious pipevines like snakeroot and Dutchman's pipe. They build up a body of the unsavory chemical and render their adult form somewhat unpleasant to eat. Birds and other predators usually learn to avoid eating the adults. Other butterflies with similar coloring benefit from the Pipevine Swallowtail's bitter-tasting reputation.
Adults can be found in a variety of habitats including gardens, forests, canyons and meadows. two to 4 generations can be produced a year in warm climates. Males can be seen congregating at 'puddle parties' where they take in water and minerals. They are less inclined to continually flutter their wings when they are at puddles and pond edges, allowing for a better look at them.
Scientific Name: Battus philenor
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 70mm to 86mm (2.73in to 3.35in)
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.
Butterfly and Moth Anatomy
Antennae: Butterflies and Moths have a pair of antennae on the head used as sensors.
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and proboscis.
Thorax: Home to the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
Abdomen: Contains vital internal organs such as the heart(s) and reproduction facilities.
Forewing: The upper, forward wing pair used for flying.
Hindwing: The lower, rearward wing pair used for flying.
NOTE: Butterflies and Moths are part of the Lepidopteran order as they share many similarities.