Friday, September 18, 2009

Spicebush Swallowtail Butterflies

Butterflies sometimes mimic one another: Spicebush have evolved, as do Black Swallowtails, some female Tiger Swallowtails and the Red Spotted Admiral, to mimic Pipevine Swallowtails which store noxious chemicals from Pipevines making them distasteful to birds.

This Spicebush Swallowtail is resting on a canna leaf while a cool breeze blows.

A pair of Spicebush nectaring on Porterweed. The undersides have a second line of markings not seen on top, similar to Black Swallowtails.

Hocking Hills Gardener asked to see Spicebush Swallowtails up close and I'm happy to have these this week. Out of 100 photos, I'm lucky to have a handful that are good enough to observe the butterflies.

I wish I could answer Janie's question about how I attract many different. I just plant the nectar flowers they enjoyed most the previous year and hope they return. Zebra Longwings (State Butterfly of Florida) have not visited here in years, yet the Maypops hosts flourish all around. I'm afraid the Longwings were too tropical and failed to survive one of our colder winters. Gulf Frits still visit. I'm seeing fewer Black Swallowtails this year, probably because the parsley seed I planted failed to come up. Failing to find host plants, they may have moved on. Spicebush here use Sassafras as hosts.

Spicebush Swallowtails and Skippers tomorrow.


  1. how lucky you are to capture more than one butterflies on same flower. I have longed for this shot but never accomplished. thanks for sharing.

  2. Love those butterflies Nell. We have a lot of Sulphurs this year. I see them everywhere. Also have Zebras, Gulfs, Skippers, I've seen a Ruddy Daggerwing or two, a few swallowtails and some others. Butterflies are hard to capture, and your pictures are great!

    Enjoy ~ FlowerLady

  3. Your shots of butterflies are really wonderful. I love to visit your site to see them.

  4. Thank you so much for the pictures!
    They are just such a beautiful butterfly. You are so lucky to have them around your garden.
    We have had a few Swallowtails and a bunch of Fritillary's, or a skipper here and there.
    Your pictures of them are just beautiful. Thanks for the flying flowers.
    Have a wonderful weekend.


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

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