Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor)
Detailing the identifying qualities of the Pipevine Swallowtail, including physical features and territorial reach.
Updated: 8/1/2016; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
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.