Giant Swallowtail sighting in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Subject: Butterfly in Ann Arbor, MI
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
September 21, 2014 10:52 am
I took these pictures on my phone in August at the Nichols Arboretum in Ann Arbor, MI. I just moved to the area so I’m not yet familiar with its wildlife. I have seen lots of black swallowtail caterpillars and butterflies this August and September but I’m not sure if this butterfly is one as well. It doesn’t seem to have the blues, yellows or reds… and it has a band of that white-ish yellow color across its hindwing that I haven’t seen before.
It may have a swallowtail wing shape – I can’t tell. But something interesting about its wings is that it seemed to fold the forewing somewhat independently of the hindwing. I tried to include a picture showing that, but it was hard to catch.
Thank you!
Signature: Butterfly Observer

Giant Swallowtail
Giant Swallowtail

Dear Butterfly Observer,
The Giant Swallowtail, a native species, has adapted as a caterpillar, called an Orange Dog, to eating the leaves of imported and cultivated citrus trees, and its range has expanded where citrus is grown.  Consequently, it is now more common in the southern portion of its range including Florida, and the expanded western regions all the way to the Pacific Ocean.
  We imagine your Michigan sighting is not a common occurrence.

Wow!!! I’ve heard the name Giant Swallowtail before but I didn’t even know what they look like and I don’t think I’ve ever seen one. How exciting! I’m glad I asked you guys. I really love your site- thanks for the work you do!

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