Spicebush Swallowtail

The other day, I discovered a beautiful caterpillar in the park. I was mesmerized its designs on its body. I just had to find out more about it. This is what I found.

This species of butterfly is called Papilio Troilus or Spicebush Swallowtail.

spicebush swallowtail or green-clouded butterfly


The Spicebush Swallowtail is a common black swallowtail butterfly found in North America. It has two subspecies, Papilio troilus troilus and Papilio troilus ilioneus, the Papilio troilus ilioneus found mainly in the Florida peninsula. The spicebush swallowtail gets its name from its most common host plant, the spicebush, members of the genus Lindera. 

The family the spicebush swallowtails belongs to, Papilionidae, or swallowtails, include the largest butterflies in the world. The swallowtails are unique in that even while feeding, they continue to flutter their wings. Unlike other swallowtail butterflies, spicebushes fly low to the ground instead of high in the air.

The spicebush swallowtail is found only in the eastern US and southern Ontario, but occasionally they run away from home to go to a warmer climate like American Midwest, Cuba, Manitoba and Colorado. They got sun, SON.☀✌

So after about a month, the caterpillar becomes this beautiful butterfly.

Photo Credit: National Geographic

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