Currently viewing the category: "swallowtails"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Yellow or Anise Swallowtail
Geographic location of the bug:  West Los Angeles
Date: 05/14/2020
Time: 05:47 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi Bugman,
Is this a yellow swallowtail or an anise swallowtail (or are they the same)? She’s laying her eggs on a fennel plant.
Thanks,
How you want your letter signed:  Jeff Bremer

Anise Swallowtail Ovipositing

Dear Jeff,
Please forgive our tardy response.  According to the Jeffrey Glassberg book
Butterflies Through Binoculars The West, the Anise Swallowtail has both a dark and a light or yellow form, and they are not designated as  distinct subspecies.  The two color forms exist over much of the species’ range.  According to BugGuide, there are two subspecies and BugGuide notes:  “There has been a lot of debate over the years as to whether the inland populations of P. zelicaon are different enough to consider as a distinct subspecies from ‘typical’ zelicaon from closer to the Pacific. Also, it is debated, assuming there is a difference, just what the difference is, and where one population begins and the other ends.”  We always appreciate your butterfly submissions and we are tagging this submission of an Anise Swallowtail as our Bug of the Month for June 2020.  As a side note, Daniel was excited to find a young Anise Swallowtail caterpillar on a dill umbel in his garden and he watched it grow over the course of a week, only to have it vanish.  The suspected culprit is a Paper Wasp seen patrolling the dill plant the day the caterpillar vanished.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Yellow & white butterflies
Geographic location of the bug:  Rio Aripuana ~500 km upstream Manaus
Date: 12/10/2019
Time: 01:10 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:
1) The target species on this image is a Heraclides (Papilio) anchisiades, Id:ed by Jorge Bizarro, one of the top people on Nymphalides and Moths and Hawk Moths in tropical America. The yellow ones and white ones I have not Id:ed. I have learned there are several similar species. I ´d appreciate if you like to give them a try. Photo taken Rio Aripuana Brazil bout 450 km upstream from Manaus 2019-10-05.
How you want your letter signed:  Stefan

Puddling Ruby Spotted Swallowtail and Sulphur Butterflies

Dear Stefan,
Thanks for sending your image of a puddling Ruby Spotted Swallowtail.  According to Learn About Butterflies:  “
Heraclides anchisiades is a very common and widespread species, found from Texas to Paraguay.”  The yellow and white butterflies are in the family Pieridae, the Whites and Sulphurs, but we cannot provide you with a conclusive species identification based on your image.  There are many species pictured on Butterflies of the Amazon & Andes.  This puddling behavior is a communal activity that often involves several different families of butterflies congregating to take in moisture as well as dissolved minerals.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Butterfly
Geographic location of the bug:  North Queensland
Date: 11/16/2019
Time: 01:14 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello we have a butterfly from north Queensland, the name we were given was Marfarlane’s Triangle, but we cannot find that name online so cannot find the species name, can you please help us
How you want your letter signed:  Hannah & Ellie

Green Triangle

Dear Hannah & Ellie,
We located images of a similar looking butterfly called a Blue Triangle,
Graphium sarpedon, on the Brisbane Insect site, and additional searching of that genus name brought us to the Green Triangle, Graphium macfarlanei, on Butterfly House, and we suspect the common name Marfarlane’s Triangle can also be used.

Green Triangle

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  spider on black swallowtail
Geographic location of the bug:  Auburn, California
Date: 04/17/2019
Time: 01:08 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I thought this was a cool image of a spider incapacitating a black swallowtail. This was along a trail, near the flowers the butterfly was feeding on. Maybe a crab spider? Enjoy!
How you want your letter signed:  k. cassidy

Crab Spider eats Pipevine Swallowtail

Dear k. cassidy,
This is an awesome image.  We agree that this is a Crab Spider.  Crab Spiders do not build webs to snare prey.  Many species, especially pastel colored, pink, yellow or white Crab Spiders, are camouflaged in blossoms where they wait to ambush pollinating prey like bees and butterflies.  Your Swallowtail is actually a Pipevine Swallowtail.  Did you witness the Crab Spider capture the Pipevine Swallowtail?  If not, was the Swallowtail still alive when you encountered this awesome Food Chain illustration, though interestingly, this is not the first time we have received documentation of a Crab Spider eating a Pipevine Swallowtail.

yes, love the pipevine swallowtails this time of year (here they like the lilac and brodiaea best). I did not see it in the capturing phase, but this butterfly was still alive though incapacitated. Seemingly big prey, but the spider had him for sure! This is in the Auburn State Recreation Area along the American River in Northern California.
Thanks for the ink to the other crab spider catching a pipevine! I didn’t see that when I first searched.
Enjoy and share the image!
thanks,
kerrie
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Cretan Festoon butterflies
Geographic location of the bug:  Plakias, Crete
Date: 04/10/2019
Time: 05:08 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  hi there!. You have published some of my pictures before, so I thought you might like these shots I got the past week of male and female Cretan Festoons, Zerynthia cretica at the cliffs near Plakias in Crete. I also have a picture of the weird-looking food plant, Aristolochia cretica, with very strange flowers.
How you want your letter signed:  Butterfly twitcher

Cretan Festoon male

Dear Butterfly twitcher,
We were not familiar with the common name Festoon.  To our eyes, these are what we have always known as Apollo Butterflies or Parnassians.  Upon doing some research on RawBirds.com, we learned that the Cretan Festoon,
Zerynthia cretica, is “an Old World swallowtail butterfly in the family Papilionidae which is in the genus Allancastria. This endemic species is found only on the Greek island of Crete but some authorities consider it to be a subspecies of the Eastern Festoon (Zerynthia cerisyi) and give it the scientific name (Zerynthia cerisyi cretica). The flight period is from mid-March to June. After the egg laying stage, the caterpillars hatch out to feed on the endemic Cretan Dutchman’s Pipe (Aristolochia cretensis). They then overwinter as a pupae and in mid to late spring emerge as butterflies.”  Additional images can be found on Red List and on Euro Butterflies it states:  “Formerly considered as a subspecies of the eastern festoon Z. cerisy it is now more often considered as a species. The two species are clearly very similar. Being geographically isolated on Crete it’s not surprising that differences appear, even to the extent of diverging into two species. It’s not the only endemic on the island.”  Additional information includes:  “Habitat & Behaviour: Grassy scrubland and open woodland. More active in the morning, being much harder to find in the afternoon. It flies unhurriedly up and down slopes, frequently stopping for nectar and to rest on bushes, grasses and the ground. Easily spotted at the roadside while driving through suitable habitat. I also found one flying over the beach and out to see some 20 or 30m before it turned back to land.”  Thanks so much for sending in your awesome images as well as an image of the endemic food plant, the Cretan Dutchman’s Pipes

Cretan Festoon female

Cretan Dutchman Pipes

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Giant Swallowtail Puddling
Geographic location of the bug:  Hialeah Florida
Date: 03/15/2019
Time: 12:05 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I was cleaning out algae-muck from my pool on March 3 and this Giant Swallowtail spent a long time drinking the dampness from it, so I was able to get a few really nice photos of it that I thought you might like.
I don’t see them very often, but twice I found them puddling when I’d done yard work and left water on cement/tile. I’m guessing that being so large, they need more moisture than the average butterfly, and so sometimes nectar just isn’t enough.
How you want your letter signed:  Marian

Puddling Giant Swallowtail

Dear Marian,
Your images of a puddling Giant Swallowtail are beautiful.  It is our understanding that butterflies newly emerged from the Chrysalis drink from puddles to get important minerals as well as moisture.  The Swallowtails, the Blues and the Sulphur Butterflies are among the most frequent puddlers.  It is also our understanding that males are more frequently found at puddles than are female butterflies.

Giant Swallowtail

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination