Rumble in the Jungle

August 29, 2016

So, I’m crawling around in a tangle of bushes in my mom’s side yard (don’t ask) .. and come upon these guys/gals:


Best I can figure (thank you Google images and wikipedia), they are Giant Swallowtail butterflies.

The giant swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes) is a swallowtail butterfly common in various parts of North America and marginally into South America (Colombia and Venezuela only). In the United States and Canada it is mainly found in the south and east. With a wingspan of about 10–16 cm (3.9–6.3 in),[2] it is the largest butterfly in Canada and the United States.[3]

As billed, they were huge and dramatic.

There was a third, but she/he didn’t light:


Here’s more:

In the United States, P. cresphontes is mostly seen in deciduous forest and citrus orchards where they are considered a major pest. They fly between May and August where there are 2 broods in the North and 3 in the south. They can range from southern California (where they have been seen from March to December, reaching peak abundance in late summer/early fall) [snip]

Giant swallowtails fly from Late May–August, but in some areas of the southern United States such as Texas and Louisiana, they may be seen as late as October. All giant swallowtails have a distinctive flight pattern which generally looks as if they are “hopping” through the air. Females tend to beat their wings slowly but move quickly. Because females have such large wings, each wing beat will carry it a long way. Males however, tend to have more of a darty flight and beat their wings rapidly but move slower than females because their wings are smaller and each beat doesn’t carry them far. Giant swallowtails in general fly fast and high and can be difficult to capture.


Your butterfly news for the day.