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Giant Swallowtail

Papilio cresphontes


Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Arthropoda Class: Insecta Order: Lepidoptera Family: Papilionidae Genus: Papilio Species: P. cresphontes Binomial name Papilio cresphontes With a wingspan of about 10–16 cm (3.9–6.3 in), it is the largest butterfly in Canada and the United States.


The Giant Swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes) is a swallowtail butterfly common in various parts of North America and marginally into South America (Colombia and Venezuela only). In the United States and Canada it is mainly found in the south and east.


Adult An adult's wingspan is about 100–160 mm (3.9–6.3 in). The body and wings are dark brown to black with yellow bands. There is a yellow "eye" in each wing tail. The abdomen has bands of yellow along with the previously mentioned brown. Adults are quite similar to the adults of another Papilio species, P. thoas. Caterpillar The mature caterpillar resembles bird droppings to deter predators, and if that doesn't work they use their orange osmeteria.These are 'horns' which they can display and then retract. The coloration is dingy brown and or olive with white patches and small patches of purple. Citrus fruit farmers often call the caterpillars orange dogs or orange puppies because of the devastation they can cause to their crops.

1 Species ID Suggestions

tmvdh 5 years ago
Giant Swallowtail
Papilio cresphontes

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1 Comment

Cris 5 years ago

Thank you tmvdh.

Spotted by

São Caetano do Sul, SP, Brazil

Spotted on Jun 18, 2015
Submitted on Jun 18, 2015

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