GALLERIES > BUTTERFLIES AND MOTHS >
PIPEVINE SWALLOWTAIL [Battus philenor]
Location: Ash Canyon Bird Sanctuary, AZGPS: 31.4N, -110.3W, elev=5,533' MAP
Date: July 30, 2009
ID : 7C2V0541 [3888 x 2592]
The butterfly ranges from southern Canada southwards across USA to Mexico, Islas Marķas and onto Guatemala and Costa Rica.
In the United States, the butterfly is found in New England down to Florida, from Southern Ontario (Canada) to Nebraska, Texas, Arizona, California, Oregon and New Mexico.
The upper surface of the hind wings of the male butterfly has an iridescent metallic blue sheen. The hindwings also have a series of pale, arrow-head markings above and a single row of seven round orange spots, which never touch, set in an iridescent blue field below.
The forewings are dull blackish-brown.
After mating, females lay batches of eggs on the underside of the leaves of a host plant. The caterpillars feed in small groups when young, but become solitary when older. Chrysalis overwinters.
The caterpillar of the Pipevine swallowtail is reddish-brown. It has rows of fleshy, red or black coloured tubercles on its back
Host plants for the caterpillars include the Pipevine (Aristolochia species), including A. californica, A. serpentaria and others. Pipevines confer a poisonous quality to the larvae and resulting adults, much as the monarch butterfly obtains protection by feeding on milkweed, or heliconiines by feeding on passion flowers.
Adults seek nectar from flowers, including thistles (Cirsium species), bergamot, lilac, viper's bugloss, common azaleas, phlox, teasel, azaleas, dame's rocket, lantana, petunias, verbenas, lupines, yellow star thistle, buckeye, and butterfly bush.
It is mimicked by the dark-morph Eastern Tiger Swallowtail females which are palatable to predators. This morph is most often found where the two species' ranges overlap. It is also mimicked by the sympatric subspecies of Limenitis arthemis, the Red-spotted Purples.