Spicebush Swallowtail

Subject: Black or Spicebush Swallowtail?
Location: Perinton, NY
August 15, 2016 6:31 pm
Hi! This beauty was enjoying the thistles on the right-of-way behind our home. I apologize, I could only get closed wing shots, as it wouldn’t sit still for long! From what I can tell from Google, it looks like a Spicebush, but after viewing your website, I could be wrong. Thanks for any help you can give me! (Both photos are if the same individual )
Signature: Jennifer

Spicebush Swallowtail
Spicebush Swallowtail

Dear Jennifer,
This is a Spicebush Swallowtail,
Papilio troilus, which is described on BugGuide as:  “Adult: Upper surface of forewing is mostly black with ivory spots along margin. Upper surface of hindwing has orange spot on costal margin and sheen of bluish (female) or bluish-green (male) scales. Underside of hindwing with pale green marginal spots.(1) Median spotband on underside of hindwing missing one orange spot.”  The missing orange spot is visible in your image.  If you notice the inner band of spots, where the third from the bottom should exist, there is instead a dusting of blue-green scales that matches the pattern on this BugGuide image of a Spicebush Swallowtail, as opposed to this BugGuide image of a Black Swallowtail.

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