Zebra Swallowtail

By William T. Hathaway

Zebra Swallowtail (Graphium marcellus)

Young insect collectors in our roaming crew always felt lucky when they ran across a site visited by the fast-flying Zebra Swallowtail. Never had the students expected to find an ideal spot for observing our local Zebras, but the Rison farm with a sign “Pawpaw Plantation” captured their imagination, since Zebra Swallowtails breed on pawpaw trees (see item #62 in Trees and Tree-Like Shrubs). The older Rison brothers with their out-of-the-way kindness welcomed the young collectors. Eureka! Here was a springtime gathering spot for the elusive Zebra Swallowtails.

It was just a short trip to this Meccan site — only a mile or so north of Museville in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. Present owners of the old Rison farm are kind in welcoming escorted school groups of young students who visit an abandoned rock quarry on the farm property. (Relative to the same property, see also the Nodding Thistle.)