Remains of a Swallowtail Exuvia on Avocado Tree
Location: Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
June 29, 2014 12:13 PM
We noticed this shell of a Swallowtail Chrysalis in the avocado tree, and we tried to research which species of local Swallowtail has a caterpillar that will feed on the leaves of Avocado. We have Western Tiger Swallowtails, Giant Swallowtails and Anise Swallowtails in the garden, but none of them feeds on avocado, to the best of our knowledge. The only Swallowtail listed as eating avocado on the Easy Butterfly Garden website is the Magnificent Swallowtail, Papilio garamus. Perhaps this will remain a mystery. Can the Magnificent Swallowtail have ventured this far north? Here are additional images of the Magnificent Swallowtail from Animal PHotos.
Julian Donahue provides some input.
The Spicebush Swallowtail is recorded as feeding on another species of Persea, but Tietz’s Index to Described Life Histories…. lists the only swallowtail feeding on Persea americana as Papilio rutulus, the Western Tiger Swallowtail. The BAMONA website doesn’t mention avocado as a hostplant.
Hope this helps,
The Western Tiger Swallowtails have been seen flying near that avocado tree.