Friday, August 17, 2012

Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly

I was out in the yard doing some yard work today and I noticed a butterfly I had not seen in a long time. I couldn't put my finger on what the name of it was so I looked it up in my butterfly book and going by the colors of it, I found it rather quickly. I double checked online to make sure and sure enough, I had the right one.

It's called a Spicebush Swallowtail and it's one of four Florida butterflies that mimic the toxic Pipevine Swallowtail to gain protection from predators. I never knew that before today. Adult Spicebush's are strong agile fliers with a wingspan of 3 to 5 inches, but this butterfly rarely strays far from its preferred woodland habitat. A true lover of flowers, the Spicebush Swallowtail readily ventures out to nearby open areas in search of nectar. These butterflies continually flutter their wings while feeding. Larvae create shelters by curling up the edges of leaves with silk. They rest motionless inside when not actively feeding. At maturity, the larvae turn yellow and search for a site to pupate.

I was going to take some pictures of it but you know how that goes, if you want something bad enough and you run inside to get the camera, it will be gone by the time you get back and sure enough, it was gone. Once I found what it was, I just grabbed a picture of it from a nature site I often visit. I hope they don't mind. lol

Happy trails!