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Spicebush Swallowtail

Spicebush Swallowtail
Photo Information
Copyright: Manyee Desandies (manyee) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-04-09
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon Powershot S1-IS
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Swallowtails, Butterflies & Moths [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-04-11 2:46
Viewed: 3700
Points: 18
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Spicebush Swallowtail
Papilio troilus

The spicebush swallowtail is easily identified by the large greenish-blue spots along the outer border of the top surfaces of all four wings, and the bright orange spot on the leading edge of the upper surface of each hind wing. The spicebush swallowtail is one of many North American butterflies that mimic the unpalatable pipevine swallowtail, but the pipevine lacks the bright orange spots on the upper surface of the hind wings. Relying almost entirely on sassafras, spicebush and camphor tree for larval food plant hosts,the spicebush swallowtail rarely strays far from its preferred woodland habitat and does very poorly in urban settings. A true lover of flowers, it can readily be enticed out into the open with a colorful garden display.

Possessing two large false eyes on the front end of the body, the colorful spicebush swallowtail caterpillar masquerades as a small lizard or snake, thereby discouraging attacks from predators. To further aid in its defense, the resting caterpillar avoids detection by hiding inside a solitary rolled leaf shelter.

Habitat: Open woodland, forest edges, pine barrens, and old fields adjacent to woodlands
Garden Abundance: Occasional
Wingspan: 3.5 to 5.0"
Larval Host Plants: Sassafras (Sassafras albidum), spicebush (Lindera benzoin), camphor tree (Cinnamonum camphora) and red bay (Persea borbonia)
Favorite Adult Nectar Sources: Pentas (Pentas lanceolata), buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis), purpletop verbena (Verbena bonarienis).

This photo was taken at the Butterfly Exhibit at the
Conservatory of Flowers at the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.


elefantino, dew77, phlr, marhowie, red45, loot, Luc has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To loot: Coincidence : )manyee 3 04-12 01:37
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Critiques [Translate]

Beautifull butterfly, good colors and details.


  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2006-04-11 4:15]

Hello Manyee!
Very nice close up.Framing,colors,details and composition are

  • Great 
  • phlr Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1237 W: 130 N: 882] (2821)
  • [2006-04-11 6:10]

Very beautiful Papilionidae!
The BG isn't good, but it was where it lands on.
Very good POV with wings wide open!
Very good on details!

Hi ManYee,
Thes are beautiful B-flies, I've only had a few chances at this one myself..Good color, detail and light, Well done!

Hi Manyee,
it's a wonderful butterfly, I love the colours so much, a dark beauty.
I always thought swallowtails are yellow, this one is beautiful, thanks
Sabine - wishnugaruda

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2006-04-11 15:10]

Hi Manyee!
Lovely capture! I like black butterflies very much. Great details and colours.

Hi Manyee,
I have a very busy couple of days. But I can make just enough time for a quick visit to TN.
Great capture, thanks for posting. Have a great week.

  • Great 
  • loot Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
  • [2006-04-11 19:07]
  • [+]

Hi ManYee
I am watching this butterfly/moth series of yours with great interest. You are an unconventional lady and your photography, but especially your critiques tend to show this in a very colourful way. So no surprise that these butterfly/moth photos of yours are also similarly unconventional.
The POF's are normally something different and the BG's are rather surprising and ever interesting.
Nice composition, good colours, excellent details, and well managed exposure.
Well done and TFS.

  • Great 
  • Luc Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1835 W: 301 N: 4287] (14767)
  • [2006-04-13 23:11]

Very good photo.
Complete note as usual.
Thank you Manyee.
I am just refunding my debts.

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