Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Butterfly of the Month/August

We are butterfly poor this year; I went out this morning to choose a subject for butterfly of the month. The only species present in any numbers (6) was the Spicebush Swallowtail (Papilio troilus troilus). This is a large butterfly of woodland openings and edges. The caterpillar feeds on Spicebush and Sassafras leaves. The adult butterfly feeds upon many flowers; including butterfly bush, milkweed and joe-pye weed.

I have both Sassafras and Spicebush in my yard and the Sassafras seems to be the most consistent host plant for the species. The caterpillar is the familiar caterpillar with the giant eye-spots.
The Butterflies Of West Virginia and their Caterpillars (Pitt Series in Nature and Natural History)

Photos by High Virginia Images    (c) All Rights Reserved

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