Giant Swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes)

Local and fairly rare in NC, this species has been reported from scattered locations across the state. It is most often found along the immediate coast, especially on the barrier islands where its host plant, Toothache Tree (Zanthoxylum clava-herculis) grows.
Giant Swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes)

Female Giant Swallowtail ovipositing on Toothache Tree (Zanthoxylum clava-herculis)

New Hanover Co., NC
26 Aug 2006

Giant Swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes) Giant Swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes)
Giant Swallowtail egg on
Toothache Tree (Zanthoxylum clava-herculis)
New Hanover Co., NC
26 Aug 2006
Giant Swallowtail egg detail
New Hanover Co., NC
26 Aug 2006

Giant Swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes)

Giant Swallowtails are notoriously challenging to photograph with a point-and-shoot style camera because they stay in constant motion while nectaring, fluttering their forewings for balance rather than perching.

Of all NC swallowtails that look dark above, Giant Swallowtails are the only ones that are primarily yellow below and have a yellow body.

New Hanover Co., NC
27 Aug 2005


Giant Swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes) Giant Swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes)
New Hanover Co., NC
27 Aug 2005
New Hanover Co., NC
27 Aug 2005

Giant Swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes) Giant Swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes)
Hidalgo Co., TX
17 Oct 2004
Hidalgo Co., TX
17 Oct 2004

Giant Swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes) The caterpillar reportedly mimics bird droppings to make it less apetizing.
Cameron Co., TX

14 Oct 2004 (Works for me!)

Parker Backstrom photographs a fluttering Giant Swallowtail.

New Hanover Co., NC
27 Aug 2005


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Created on ... June 2, 2005 | Updated on ... Aug 31, 2006 | jeffpippen9@gmail.com