Giant swallowtail

Giant swallowtail

Yesterday afternoon around 5:30, a very tattered giant swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes) appeared on the butterfly bush in my front garden. This was a new record for the mountain. We watched it nectaring for about ten minutes before it flew away.

The larvae feed on members of the citrus family, so this butterfly’s tattered appearance is understandable. I found the following on eNature:

Known as the “Orange Dog” by citrus growers, the Giant Swallowtail is sometimes considered a citrus pest and is subjected to massive spraying. It is capable of flying long distances and often strays into northern and midwestern districts.

My photos of the butterfly are here. See also my lepidoptera set on Flickr.

–Dave

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About Dave Bonta

I'm the author of several books of poetry, including Ice Mountain: An Elegy, Breakdown: Banjo Poems, and Odes to Tools, but my real work is at my long-running literary blog Via Negativa, where I'm currently creating erasure poems from every entry of the Diary of Samuel Pepys. I'm also the editor and publisher of Moving Poems, a blog showcasing the best poetry videos on the web.

Posted on August 25, 2007, in butterflies, insects. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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