Spicebush Swallowtails

By William T. Hathaway

Spicebush Swallowtails

Although my pictures fail to bring out the size differences, it is generally true that the female Spicebush Swallowtail is noticeably larger than the male. In Pittsylvania County the males are more commonly seen visiting flowers; their powdery grayish-bluegreen upper hind wings are in sharp contrast with the iridescent bluegreen reflections of the female's upper hind wings.

The Spicebush shrub with its yellowish flowers and aromatic leaves is well established in swamps and wet woods throughout our county. Spicebush caterpillars feed on leaves of this abundant shrub. The leaves of young sassafras trees are also known to be food for Spicebush caterpillars.


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