what kind of swallowtail?
Location: Bath Michigan
August 8, 2010 6:38 am
Can you tell me what kind of swallowtail this is we live in Bath Michigan I can only seem to find a Thoas picture on web that looks close. There is so much brown on it i cannot identify it. Any help would be great thank you!
The Thoas Swallowtail, Papilio thoas, has a much more southern range than Michigan, and it closely resembles the Giant Swallowtail, Papilio cresphontes, that has been reported from as far north as Canada, so we believe your individual is a Giant Swallowtail. Interestingly, BugGuide devotes an entire page to distinguishing the two species. The undersides of the wings of both species are typically much lighter than is evidenced in your photo, but this might be partially because of the lighting, the angle of the photo, or possibly because your individual is an older specimen. Though we were troubled by this coloration, we did locate an image on BugGuide that looks quite similar to your individual. You may read more about the Giant Swallowtail on the BugGuide information page.