Anise Swallowtail (Papilio zelicaon Lucas)
Wing span: 2 3/4 - 3 1/2 inches (7 - 9 cm).
Identification: Upper surface of hindwing has yellow-orange eyespot near tail with round black center that is not connected to hindwing margin. Anal cell of hindwing is primarily yellow.
Life history: Males perch on hilltops and patrol for receptive females. Female lays eggs singly on host plant leaves and flowers. Young caterpillars eat leaves while older ones eat flowers. Chrysalids hibernate.
Flight: One flight from April-July.
Caterpillar hosts: Many species in the parsley family (Apiaceae), and some in the citrus family (Rutaceae).
Adult food: Not reported.
Habitat: Bare hills, mountains, gardens, fields, vacant lots, and roadsides.
Range: From British Columbia southeast to North Dakota, south to s. California, Arizona, New Mexico; Baja California; Mexico. A rare stray to central Nebraska and eastern North Dakota.
Conservation: Not usually of concern.
Management needs: None noted.
The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Opler, P. A. and V. Malikul. 1992. A field guide to eastern butterflies. Peterson field guide #4. Houghton-Mifflin Co., Boston. 396 pages, 48 color plates. Scott, J. A. 1986. The butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press, Stanford, Calif. 583 pages, 64 color plates. Tilden, J. W. 1986. A field guide to western butterflies. Houghton-Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass. 370 pages, 23 color plates.
Author: Jane M. Struttmann