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Butterfly (Giant Swallowtail)

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Papilio cresphontes
Butterfly (Giant Swallowtail)


They are from Southern Canada through the U.S. west to the Rocky Mountains, south through the deserts of the Southwest to South America. Also in California and Arizona.


They live in sunny, open places, along roads and rivers, on rocky hillsides near streams and in citrus groves in the south.

Body Traits

They are mostly black with 2 bands of yellow spots. They are considered the largest butterfly in the U.S. at 4 - 5 1/2 inches wide. They have long black tails with a yellow center.


They can fly a very long way.


The caterpillars eat citrus trees.

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Female lays a single egg on a citrus leaf. Caterpillars look like bird poop.

Butterfly (Giant Swallowtail)


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class:     Insecta
Order:     Lepidoptera
Family: Papilionidae
Genus:     Papilio
Species: P. cresphontes

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