Swallowtails

The Swallowtails page contains 40 images of Swallowtail butterflies from Southern California.

Images are captioned with detailed information on each species.
See the index below for a list of species displayed on each page.

Click an image to open a larger version.
Use your back button to return to this page.

Insect Study Section Index

Butterflies 1
Buckeye, Bernardino Dotted Blue, Cabbage White, California Dogface, California Sister,
Cecropia Moth, Great Southern White, Julia Heliconian, Lorquin’s Admiral, Red Admiral, Skippers.

Butterflies 2
Malachite, Monarch, Mourning Cloak, Painted Lady, Queen, Viceroy,
Zebra Longwing, Monarch and White-lined Sphinx Caterpillars.

Swallowtail Butterflies
Anise Swallowtail, Black Swallowtail, Giant Swallowtail,
Palamedes Swallowtail, Polydamas Swallowtail, Tiger Swallowtail.


Bees, Flies and Dragonflies

Miscellaneous Insects:
Katydids, Cicadas, Ladybugs, Mantis, Spiders and other Insects

Sunburst3

The Banner below leads to the Butterflies Gallery where images can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


There are 170 images in the Butterflies Gallery

Sunburst3
Anise_Swallowtail_X4287


Anise Swallowtail X4287

The Anise Swallowtail is a medium-sized black butterfly with distinctive yellow markings across the wings,
iridescent blue markings on the trailing end of both upper and lower surfaces of the wings, a red and black
central spot between the rump and the tails, and the characteristic pointed tails of the Swallowtail Butterfly.

Anise_Swallowtail_X4294


Anise Swallowtail X4294

The Anise Swallowtail has a wingspan of 3 to 4 inches, although some can be smaller than three inches.
The body is black and hairy, with broad yellow stripes on each side. They prefer fennel (anise) and citrus.

Anise_Swallowtail_X4356M


Anise Swallowtail X4356 M

An Anise Swallowtail resting on an Egyptian Starcluster. Note the hair on the body and inner wings.

All of the landscape (horizontal) large version images linked from the thumbnails are 1500 pixels wide.
Portrait (vertical) images are 1200 pixels tall (1290 pixels with title bar). Images designated with an “M”
in the shot number are 5:4 aspect ratio, 1500 x 1290 with a title bar, or 1500 x 1200 without a title bar.

BlackSwallowtail_HS4321


Black Swallowtail HS4321

A male Black Swallowtail. Note the arching yellow-white band on the rear half of the wing. Compare this to
the markings on the Anise Swallowtail above. The female has an iridescent blue hindwing and yellow spots
in place of the arching yellow to yellow-white band of the male. They prefer to feed on the nectar of flowers.

BlackSwallowtail_Monarch_X4311


Black Swallowtail Monarch X4311

A male Black Swallowtail and a Monarch on an Egyptian Starcluster.

BlackSwallowtail_X4362


Black Swallowtail X4362

BlackSwallowtail_X4371


Black Swallowtail X4371

Some Black Swallowtails have yellower markings than others (yellow variants are more common in the West).
This individual with slightly damaged wingtips seemed to turn even more bright yellow when on a yellow flower.

BlackSwallowtail_HS4343M


Black Swallowtail HS4343 M

A male Black Swallowtail basking on a rock. Note the yellow stripes on the side of the head.
They have an orange spot in the center of the hindwing between the tails, and a rather hairy body.

Sunburst3

The Banner below leads to the Butterflies Gallery where images can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


There are 170 images in the Butterflies Gallery

Sunburst3
GiantSwallowtail_HS4194


Giant Swallowtail HS4194

GiantSwallowtail_HS4336


Giant Swallowtail HS4336

The Giant Swallowtail is the largest butterfly in North America with a wingspan of 4.5 to 7 inches.

GiantSwallowtail_HS4350


Giant Swallowtail HS4350

The Giant Swallowtail has a dark brown to black body and wings, with yellow bands displayed in a similar pattern
to that of the King Swallowtail (which feed on black pepper rather than the citrus preferred by Black Swallowtails).
The lower part of the body is yellow, and the underside of the wings is primarily yellow. The tails have yellow eyes.

GiantSwallowtail_HS4216


Giant Swallowtail HS4216

Note the yellow lower body and facial stripes of the Black Swallowtail.

GiantSwallowtail_HS4201


Giant Swallowtail HS4201

GiantSwallowtail_HS4205


Giant Swallowtail HS4205

The underside (ventral side) of the wings is yellow with black veins and a blue median band on the hindwing.
There are also brick-red markings on the middle and on the inner edge of the ventral surface of the hindwing.

GiantSwallowtail_detail_HS4339M


Giant Swallowtail detail HS4339 M

Close detail of a Giant Swallowtail, showing the eye and proboscis (tongue) of the butterfly.

GiantSwallowtail_detail_HS4217


Giant Swallowtail detail HS4217

A frontal facial closeup of a Giant Swallowtail butterfly resting on a flower with its proboscis retracted.

The proboscis is made up of two parts (galea) which literally zip together after the adult
butterfly emerges from its pupal cocoon. The tiny hooks and fringes that zip the proboscis
together are natural velcro. Each of the two galeae of the proboscis contain nerves, muscles,
a trachea tube and a central groove which becomes the food channel when the two parts join.

Moths and butterflies can only feed on liquids containing particles small enough to fit through
the food canal, but Zebra Longwings and other Heliconians can feed on pollen by creating a
ball on the tip of the proboscis and regurgitating digestive juices to break down the pollen.

GiantSwallowtail_HS4346


Giant Swallowtail HS4346

A Giant Swallowtail drinking nectar. Note the light yellow lower body and the long proboscis.
Also, notice the yellow “eyes” at the end of each of the tails of the Giant Swallowtail butterfly.

Sunburst3

The Banner below leads to the Butterflies Gallery where images can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


There are 170 images in the Butterflies Gallery

Sunburst3
GiantSwallowtail_HS4209


Giant Swallowtail HS4209

GiantSwallowtail_HS4224


Giant Swallowtail HS4224

The body and wing color of the Giant Swallowtail ranges from a dark brown to black,
and their body and wing markings range from a very light tan to a light creamy yellow.

GiantSwallowtail_HS4259


Giant Swallowtail HS4259

A Giant Swallowtail displays its characteristic upper wing markings. Note the yellow “eyes” on the tails.

GiantSwallowtail_HS4233


Giant Swallowtail HS4233

GiantSwallowtail_HS4356


Giant Swallowtail HS4356

It is difficult to distinguish males and females, but the females typically have a longer wingspan.

GiantSwallowtail_HS4386


Giant Swallowtail HS4386

Adult Giant Swallowtails drink nectar from a number of types of flowers.
They lay their eggs on citrus leaves, and the caterpillars eat the leaves.

GiantSwallowtail_Monarch_HS4457


Giant Swallowtail Monarch HS4457

GiantSwallowtail_HS4482


Giant Swallowtail HS4482

At left, a Giant Swallowtail with a Monarch defocused in the distance. At right, a reduced exposure of the
same Giant Swallowtail taken in more subdued light. Notice that this individual is missing its right-side tail.

GiantSwallowtail_HS4400


Giant Swallowtail HS4400

An intact adult Giant Swallowtail posing on a branch. Below is a slightly different angle of this individual.

Sunburst3

The Banner below leads to the Butterflies Gallery where images can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


There are 170 images in the Butterflies Gallery

Sunburst3
GiantSwallowtail_HS4405


Giant Swallowtail HS4405

An adult Giant Swallowtail displays its characteristic upper wing markings while posing on a branch.

GiantSwallowtail_HS4433


Giant Swallowtail HS4433

GiantSwallowtail_HS4514


Giant Swallowtail HS4514

The upper wing markings of the Giant Swallowtail meet and cross at the apex of the wings, forming an “X”.

GiantSwallowtail_HS4426


Giant Swallowtail HS4426

Even a somewhat ragged Giant Swallowtail is an impressive and beautiful butterfly. Their caterpillars,
however, are probably the ugliest. They are camouflaged to look like an enormous blob of bird poop.

Palamedes_Swallowtail_HS4493


Palamedes Swallowtail HS4493

A Palamedes Swallowtail hangs down from a leaf with its wings closed.
The upper wing of the Palamedes looks similar to the male Black Swallowtail,
but with an additional blue and orange mark above the central hind orange mark
between the tails, and many have two yellow streaks above the light median band,
parallel to the body. Females have diffuse blue spots behind the light median band.

Pipevine_Swallowtail_X4410


Pipevine Swallowtail X4410

A female Pipevine Swallowtail. The males have an iridescent blue-green hindwing, and females have
a row of diffuse white spots on the trailing edges of their wings (some females have a dull iridescence).

This is a medium to large butterfly (3 to 5 inch wingspan) with a spotted black body and mostly black wings.
They feed on the nectar of flowers as adults, and the caterpillars feed on the Aristolochia Pipevine plants.
Because most species of Pipevine are poisonous to animals, birds avoid the caterpillars. Several other
species of butterfly have taken advantage of this, mimicking the appearance of the Pipevine Swallowtail.

TigerSwallowtail_onIceplant_3182


Tiger Swallowtail on Iceplant 3182

A Western Tiger Swallowtail on Iceplant. These are brightly colored, constantly moving butterflies
with black streaks on the yellow wing surface. Males have two diffuse blue spots alongside the orange
central mark ahead of the tails and females have a series of these blue spots across the hindwing.
The wingspan is 3 to 4 inches and the body, thorax and head are striped in black and yellow.

Sunburst3

The Banner below leads to the Butterflies Gallery where images can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


There are 170 images in the Butterflies Gallery

Sunburst3
PolydamasSwallowtail_HS4215


Polydamas Swallowtail HS4215

The Polydamas Swallowtail has a wingspan of 3.5 to 4.5 inches. The upper surface of the wing is black,
with postmedial yellow bands. The body is black with red-orange dots and an orange lateral abdomen line.

PolydamasSwallowtail_detail_HS4446


Polydamas Swallowtail detail HS4446

PolydamasSwallowtail_HS4361


Polydamas Swallowtail HS4361

Above and below, you can see the red-orange dots on the Polydamas’s body, and the lateral abdomen line.

PolydamasSwallowtail_HS4303


Polydamas Swallowtail HS4303

A Polydamas Swallowtail drinks nectar from an Egyptian Starcluster. They also like Lantana.
The Polydamas Swallowtail is the only tail-less swallowtail butterfly in the United States. They
lay eggs on Aristolochia Pipevine plants, like the Pipevine Swallowtail shown further above.
The aristolochic acids in Pipevine leaves make them distasteful and avoided by predators.

PolydamasSwallowtail_HS4347


Polydamas Swallowtail HS4347

A Polydamas Swallowtail drinks nectar from an Egyptian Starcluster. Note the wavy red lines on
the underside of the hindwings, the red-orange body dots and the orange lateral line on the abdomen.

PolydamasSwallowtail_HS4549


Polydamas Swallowtail HS4549

A Polydamas Swallowtail displaying its red-orange body spots, lateral orange line
on the abdomen, and the wavy red lines on the underside of the scalloped hindwing.

Polydamas Swallowtails have yellow markings on the scalloped edges of the hindwings,
and are sometimes called the Gold-Rim Swallowtail. Their caterpillars are very similar to
the Pipevine Swallowtail caterpillars, but they have a gold band across their foreheads.

PolydamasSwallowtail_HS4563c


Polydamas Swallowtail HS4563c

This detail crop shows the hairy, spotted body of the Polydamas Swallowtail.

Sunburst3

The Banner below leads to the Butterflies Gallery where images can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


There are 170 images in the Butterflies Gallery

Sunburst3
Butterflies_1


Click the Display Composite above to visit the Butterflies 1 page.

Buckeye, Bernardino Dotted Blue, Cabbage White, California Dogface, California Sister,
Cecropia Moth, Great Southern White, Julia Heliconian, Lorquin’s Admiral, Red Admiral, Skippers.

Butterflies_2


Click the Display Composite above to visit the Butterflies 2 page.

Malachite, Monarch, Mourning Cloak, Painted Lady, Queen, Viceroy,
Zebra Longwing, Monarch and White-lined Sphinx Caterpillars.

Insects


Click the Display Composite above to visit the Insect Macros Index page.

Content_
Contact_RR