The Giant Swallowtail Butterfly (Papilio cresphontes) is a swallowtail butterfly common in various parts of North America, particularly the south and east. With a wingspan of about 1016 centimetres (3.96.3 in), it is the largest butterfly in North America. Giant Swallowtail Butterfly Nomenclature
Giant swallowtail, Orange dog, Orange puppy Giant Swallowtail Butterfly Description
Giant Swallowtail Butterfly Adult
An adults wingspan is about 4-5.5in (100-140mm). The body and wings are dark brown to black with yellow bands. There is a yellow “eye” in each wing tail. The abdomen has bands of yellow along with the previously mentioned brown. Adults are quite similar to the adults of another Papilio species, P. thoas. Giant Swallowtail Butterfly Caterpillar
P. cresphontes caterpillar on lemon leaf
P. cresphontes caterpillar showing defensive posture
The mature caterpillar resembles bird droppings to deter predators, if that doesn’t work they use their red osmeterium. Older instars take on the appearance of a small snake with a fake head and eyes. The coloration is dingy brown and or olive with white patches and small patches of purple. Fruit farmers often call the caterpillars orange dogs or orange puppies because of the devastation they can cause on their crops.
Nectar plants: Pentanthera, Bougainvilla, Solidago, Lonicera japonica, Asclepias
Larval foods: Ornamental Citrus, Burseraceae, Zanthoxylum fagara, Ptelea trifoliata, Other Citrus
Giant Swallowtail Butterfly Range and habitat
P. cresphontes is mostly seen in deciduous forest and citrus orchards where they are considered major pest. They fly between May and August where there are 2 broods in the North and 3 in the south. They can range from southern California, Arizona as deep south as Mexico north into southeastern Canada. Giant Swallowtail Butterfly Life cycle
Adult females lay their eggs singly on the surface of the host plant, this egg is bright orange and darken with time. The caterpillars then eat and grow to about 2 inches before changing into a chrysalis. The chrysalis stage is variable but usually takes approximately 10-12 days, although in the fall they may stay in the chrysalis stage over winter and emerge in the spring.
Giant Swallowtail Butterfly Nectar Sources:
Giant Swallowtail Caterpillar
Giant Swallowtail Butterfly Caterpillar Host Plants:
Burseraceae (frankincense/myrrh/incense tree
Lime Prickly-ash, Wild Lime, Colima, Una de Gato, Corriosa “Cursed Tree”
Giant Swallowtail Butterfly
: Rhododendron, Bougainvillea, Goldenrod, Japanese Honeysuckle, Milkweed.
Host Plants: Citrus, Burseraceae (frankincense/myrrh/incense tree, Lime Prickly-ash, Wild Lime, Colima, Una de Gato, Corriosa “Cursed Tree”, Hoptree.
Region 8: Florida.
Category: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Butterflies, California, Family, Florida, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Region 2, Region 4, Region 5, Region 6, Region 8, South Carolina, South Dakota, Southeast Manitoba, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, White and Sulphur (Pieridae), Wisconsin
The Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae) is a small to midsized butterfly in the family Pieridae found in the New World. There are several similar species such as the Yellow Angled-sulphur (Anteos maerula), which has angled wings, or other sulphurs, which are much smaller. Cloudless Sulphur Butterfly Distribution
Their range is wide, from South America to southern Canada. They are most common from Argentina to southern Texas and Florida, but are often visitors outside this range becoming more rare further north. Cloudless Sulphur Butterfly Habitat
The common habitats of this butterfly are open spaces, gardens, glades, seashores, and watercourses. Cloudless Sulphur Butterfly Habits
The adult butterfly feeds on nectar from many different flowers with long tubes including cordia, bougainvillea, cardinal flower, hibiscus, lantana, and wild morning glory. Cloudless Sulphur Butterfly Life Cycle
The breeding season is dependent on the climate of the area, from midsummer to fall in the cooler areas, to year-round where the climate is warmer. Cloudless Sulphur Butterfly Egg
The Cloudless Sulphur starts off as a pitcher-shaped white egg. Eventually it will turn to a pale orange. The egg stage lasts six days. Cloudless Sulphur Butterfly Caterpillar
Once the egg hatches, a caterpillar emerges that is yellow to greenish, striped on sides, with black dots in rows across the back. The caterpillar will build a tent in a host plant where it hides in the day. The host plant may be partridge pea (Chamaecrista cinerea), sennas (Senna), clovers (Trifolium), or other legumes (Fabaceae). The caterpillar will usually grow to a length between 15/813/4 in. Cloudless Sulphur Butterfly Chrysalis
The caterpillar will form a chrysalis that is pointed at both ends and humped in the middle. The chrysalis will be either yellow or green with pink or green stripes. From the chrysalis comes a large butterfly (21/823/4″) with fairly elongated but not angled wings. Cloudless Sulphur Butterfly Adult
The male butterfly is clear yellow above and yellow or mottled with reddish brown below and the female is lemon-yellow to golden or white on both surfaces, with varying amounts of black spotting along the margin and a black open square or star on the bottom forewing.
Cloudless Sulphur Butterfly Nectar Sources:
Cloudless Sulphur Butterfly
: Cordia, Bougainvillea, Cardinal Flower, Hibiscus, Lantana, Morning Glory, Partridge Pea, Senna, Clover, Legumes.
Region 2: Arizona, California, Nevada.
Region 4: New Mexico, Texas.
Region 5: Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Southeast Manitoba.
Region 6: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia.
Region 8: Florida.