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Thursday, August 05, 2010

Spicebush Swallowtail

Spicebush Swallowtail butterfly

When the birding is slow, another wonderful thing to do is look for butterflies. We don't have to go far, as we have lots of flowers planted all around our house. This Spicebush Swallowtail was sipping nectar from our purple bee balm flowers right in front of our deck. You can see the long mouthpart extending into the tube. The larvae of Spicebush Swallowtails feed on spicebush and sassafrass.
Spicebush Swallowtails can be told from other big, dark swallowtails by their single row of prominent white dots inside the margin of their forewings. We are at the northern limit of this butterfly's range, here in NH. It is unusual to see them here. So this was a special sighting. We have heard of other more southern butterflies being seen now in northern states, this may be a trend.
For more info. on butterflies see our Stokes Butterfly Book

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