Attributes of Papilio cresphontes

Giant Swallowtail
Papilio cresphontes Cramer, 1777

Family: Papilionidae
Subfamily: Papilioninae
Identification: Forewing with diagonal band of yellow spots. Tails are edged with black and filled with yellow.
Wing Span: 4 - 6 1/4 inches (10.2 - 16 cm).
Life History: Males patrol for receptive females. Females lay single eggs on host leaves and twigs. Caterpillars resemble bird droppings and eat leaves and young shoots. Chrysalids hibernate.
Flight: Two in the north from May-September; all year in Florida and the Deep South.
Caterpillar Hosts: Trees and herbs of the citrus family (Rutaceae) including Citrus species, prickly ash (Zanthoxylum americanum), hop tree (Ptelea trifoliata), and Common Rue (Ruta graveolens).
Adult Food: Nectar from lantana, azalea, bougainvilla, bouncing Bet, dame's rocket, goldenrod, Japanese honeysuckle, and swamp milkweed.
Habitat: Many locales including rocky and sandy hillsides near streams or gullies in the north; pine flats, towns, and citrus groves in the south.
Range: Throughout eastern North America west to the Rocky Mountains, south through the desert Southwest to South America. A rare stray to Quebec, North Dakota, and Bermuda.
Conservation: Not required in the United States.
NCGR: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management Needs: Caterpillars ("orange dogs") are occasional pests of citrus.
Taxonomy Notes:

Images of Papilio cresphontes

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Papilio cresphontes - Papilio_cresphontesKsGrantSept8-07CarolAdams-cropd.jpg

Papilio cresphontes - Papilio_cresphontesKsGrantSept8-07CarolAdams-cropd.jpg
Papilio cresphontes - Papilio_cresphontesKsGrantSept8-07CarolAdams-cropv.jpg

Papilio cresphontes - Papilio_cresphontesKsGrantSept8-07CarolAdams-cropv.jpg
Papilio cresphontes - Papilio_cresphontesIrwin.jpg

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Papilio cresphontes - GiantSwallowtail-Simons.jpg

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Papilio cresphontes - Papilio_cresphontesKsGrant----03CarolAdams-cropl.jpg

Papilio cresphontes - Papilio_cresphontesKsGrant----03CarolAdams-cropl.jpg
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Papilio cresphontes - Papilio_cresphontesKsGrant----03CarolAdams-cropegg.jpg

Papilio cresphontes - Papilio_cresphontesKsGrant----03CarolAdams-cropegg.jpg
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The map below displays all BAMONA data for this species and has three different data layers:
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There are also three base layers: 1. Satellite    2. Normal   3. Hybrid

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*The orange dots on the map provide access to information about the 400 most recently verified sightings of this species. Sometimes, there are several records at the same location. Use the table view to access these records.

By default, the fifty most recently verified sightings are below. Sort by Observation Date to see the most recent sightings, or filter the sightings by region to get a regional list.

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Observation Date Submitter Region Verified Datesort icon
August 30, 2012 Ilse Gebhard Kalamazoo County, Michigan, United States January 19, 2016 Details
November 02, 2014 Lsassi Broward County, Florida, United States December 31, 2015 Details
October 18, 2015 Sue Allie Lake County, Florida, United States December 19, 2015 Details
March 18, 2015 Ron Smith Pinellas County, Florida, United States December 03, 2015 Details
November 15, 2015 jadams10 Los Angeles County, California, United States November 18, 2015 Details
November 10, 2015 jeffrybarnes Collin County, Texas, United States November 13, 2015 Details
November 05, 2015 mbuuck Highlands County, Florida, United States November 08, 2015 Details
October 29, 2015 PONYRCR Los Angeles County, California, United States November 02, 2015 Details
November 01, 2015 PONYRCR Los Angeles County, California, United States November 02, 2015 Details
October 27, 2015 wood121592 Los Angeles County, California, United States October 31, 2015 Details
October 15, 2015 gbolomey San Diego County, California, United States October 18, 2015 Details
October 15, 2015 shakespearenut Los Angeles County, California, United States October 15, 2015 Details
October 11, 2015 PONYRCR Los Angeles County, California, United States October 12, 2015 Details
October 11, 2015 MAKI Ventura County, California, United States October 12, 2015 Details
October 08, 2015 PONYRCR Los Angeles County, California, United States October 10, 2015 Details
September 29, 2015 porkphoto Riverside County, California, United States October 10, 2015 Details
October 07, 2015 PONYRCR Los Angeles County, California, United States October 08, 2015 Details
October 07, 2015 EvW Riverside County, California, United States October 08, 2015 Details
September 27, 2015 cdegroof Los Angeles County, California, United States October 01, 2015 Details
September 26, 2015 Tammy James Greer County, Oklahoma, United States September 29, 2015 Details
September 29, 2015 whbauer Bexar County, Texas, United States September 29, 2015 Details
September 14, 2015 missoct31@aol.com New Haven County, Connecticut, United States September 26, 2015 Details
September 18, 2015 missoct31@aol.com New Haven County, Connecticut, United States September 26, 2015 Details
September 08, 2015 Pleurastic Licking County, Ohio, United States September 25, 2015 Details
August 08, 2015 wayne13114 Oswego County, New York, United States September 25, 2015 Details
September 21, 2015 paturodel San Diego County, California, United States September 23, 2015 Details
September 18, 2015 rdcpics York County, Pennsylvania, United States September 19, 2015 Details
September 16, 2015 mellielong Hillsborough County, Florida, United States September 17, 2015 Details
September 15, 2015 wimvdam Santa Barbara County, California, United States September 16, 2015 Details
September 12, 2015 Dwake San Diego County, California, United States September 14, 2015 Details
September 13, 2015 Bethbeals13 Broward County, Florida, United States September 14, 2015 Details
September 12, 2015 CosmoCramer San Diego County, California, United States September 13, 2015 Details
September 12, 2015 Pvsabrewing Los Angeles County, California, United States September 13, 2015 Details
September 10, 2015 mellielong Hillsborough County, Florida, United States September 11, 2015 Details
September 10, 2015 cperez341302 Orange County, California, United States September 11, 2015 Details
September 07, 2015 Doug Bruce Perry County, Tennessee, United States September 10, 2015 Details
August 26, 2015 missoct31@aol.com New Haven County, Connecticut, United States September 07, 2015 Details
August 21, 2015 Kzfisherman Grant County, Wisconsin, United States September 06, 2015 Details
September 04, 2015 howmanyds Riverside County, California, United States September 05, 2015 Details
August 29, 2015 AJ Trently Decatur County, Tennessee, United States September 02, 2015 Details
August 15, 2015 Jeff Trahan Howard County, Arkansas, United States September 02, 2015 Details
August 29, 2015 arcturusangel Texas, United States, Wood County August 30, 2015 Details
August 25, 2015 gerardoborbon Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States August 29, 2015 Details
August 25, 2015 AJ Trently Hardin County, Tennessee, United States August 26, 2015 Details
August 13, 2015 purplechickadee Passaic County, New Jersey, United States August 24, 2015 Details
August 14, 2015 Paul Tavares Ontario, Canada August 18, 2015 Details
August 17, 2015 anasikaffy Orange County, California, United States August 18, 2015 Details
August 08, 2015 mellielong Hillsborough County, Florida, United States August 17, 2015 Details
August 08, 2015 leightern Rockingham County, Virginia, United States August 17, 2015 Details
August 11, 2015 Dwake San Diego County, California, United States August 15, 2015 Details