|Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor)|
DESCRIPTION: WS=2.4-4.75" (60-120mm). Upper surface is black with bluish hindwing; lower surface has a row of 7 orange spots.
Family Papilionidae, Subfamily Papilioninae.
NATURAL HISTORY: Adults most commonly seen February-November. Caterpillars feed on pipevines (see image), making the adults distasteful. Other butterflies (e.g., female Black Swallowtail and Diana Fritillary) mimic the Pipevine Swallowtail to avoid predation (this is an example of Batesian Mimicry in which edible/nondangerous species mimic inedible/dangerous species). Most species in this genus are tropical, but the Pipevine Swallowtail is the northern-most species in this genus.