Spicebush Swallowtail (Pterourus troilus)

Widespread and fairly common from spring into fall in NC, the caterpillars feed on spicebush and sassafras. Recent evidence suggests that this species is more appropriately placed in the genus Pterourus. It was formerly treated as Papilio troilus. Note the very bold aqua-colored "half-moons" along the trailing edge of the hindwing. Also on the dorsal hindwing, note the lack of a black spot inside the orange spot. (Black Swallowtails have a black spot centered inside this orange spot.)
Spicebush Swallowtail (Papilio troilus) Spicebush Swallowtail (Pterourus troilus)
Spicebush Swallowtail (Pterourus troilus)
Moore Co., NC
11 June 2003
Spicebush Swallowtail (Pterourus troilus)
Sandhills Gamelands, Scotland Co., NC
10 April 2004

Spicebush Swallowtail (Papilio troilus) Spicebush Swallowtail (Papilio troilus)
Spicebush Swallowtail (Pterourus troilus)
Orange Co., NC
5 Apr 2006
Spicebush Swallowtail (Pterourus troilus)
Haywood Co., NC
16 Apr 2006

Spicebush Swallowtail (Papilio troilus) Spicebush Swallowtail (Papilio troilus)
Spicebush Swallowtail (Pterourus troilus)
Scotland Co., NC
20 Apr 2008
Spicebush Swallowtail (Pterourus troilus)
Scotland Co., NC
20 Apr 2008

Spicebush Swallowtail (Papilio troilus) Spicebush Swallowtail (Papilio troilus) Spicebush Swallowtail (Pterourus troilus)
Muscatatuck NWR, Jackson Co., IN
27 July 2015

Spicebush Swallowtail (Papilio troilus) Spicebush Swallowtail (Papilio troilus) Spicebush Swallowtail (Pterourus troilus)
Muscatatuck NWR, Jackson Co., IN
27 July 2015

Spicebush Swallowtail (Pterourus troilus)

Sam Houston WMA, Walker Co., TX
1Apr 2018

Spicebush Swallowtail (Papilio troilus) Spicebush Swallowtail (Pterourus troilus)
Orange Co., NC
9 July 2008

Spicebush Swallowtail (Pterourus troilus) Spicebush Swallowtail (Pterourus troilus)
Orange Co., NC
9 July 2008


Spicebush Swallowtail (Papilio troilus) Spicebush Swallowtail Pterourus troilus
Orange Co., NC
17 Apr 2006

Spicebush Swallowtail (Pterourus troilus)
Scotland Co., NC
20 Apr 2008

Spicebush Swallowtails (Pterourus troilus)
Sandhills Game Land, Scotland Co., NC
4 Aug 2016

Spicebush Swallowtail (Pterourus troilus)
Jordan Lake, Chatham Co., NC
13 May 2017

Spicebush Swallowtail (Pterourus troilus)
Cedarock Park, Alamance Co., NC
5 Apr 2020
Spicebush Swallowtail (Pterourus troilus)
Jordan Lake, Chatham Co., NC
13 May 2017

Spicebush Swallowtail (Pterourus troilus)
Sandhills Game Land, Scotland Co., NC
4 Aug 2016

Spicebush Swallowtail (Pterourus troilus)
Game Land, Caswell Co., NC
3 May 2020

Nectaring on Lyreleaf Sage (Salvia lyrata)


Spicebush Swallowtail (Pterourus troilus)
Sandhills Game Land, Richmond Co., NC
11 Sep 2021

Nectaring on Narrowleaf Ironweed (Vernonia angustifolia). The bluish (rather than greenish) irridescence on upper hindwing indicates this is a female.


Spicebush Swallowtail (Pterourus troilus)
Sandhills Game Land, Richmond Co., NC
11 Sep 2021
Female "tasting" Sassafras saplings

Spicebush Swallowtail (Pterourus troilus)
Madison Co., NC
9 Apr 2012

A good reason to slow down on dirt roads near woods/rivers/creeks is to avoid excessive roadkill of puddling or fly-by leps, such as this fresh Spicebush Swallowtail.


Spicebush Swallowtail caterpillar (Papilio troilus) Spicebush Swallowtail (Pterourus troilus) caterpillar
Catawba Co., NC
4 Aug 2012
Spicebush Swallowtail caterpillar (Papilio troilus) Spicebush Swallowtail (Pterourus troilus) caterpillar
Catawba Co., NC
4 Aug 2012

Spicebush Swallowtail (Pterourus troilus) caterpillar
Specific location data missing, NC
28 Oct 2012
Spicebush Swallowtail (Pterourus troilus) caterpillar
Specific location data missing, NC
28 Oct 2012
Spicebush Swallowtail (Pterourus troilus) caterpillar
Specific location data missing, NC
28 Oct 2012


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Created on ... June 29, 2003 | jeffpippen9@gmail.com