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Aug 6, 2011

'Orange Dog' pays us a visit

Photo by Barry the Birder
Papilio cresphontes 
'Orange Dog', a.k.a. the Giant Swallowtail, paid a visit to our backyard today.   I don't recall ever seeing one around here before, which shouldn't be a surprise seeing how they are a lot more at home in the USA, Mexico, Central and South america.   In fact, it's fair to say they are downright rare and local in much of the northeast.   They are 4 - 6" (102-152 mm) wide.   It is citrus growers who most often call them Orange Dogs. This butterfly is sometimes considered a pest by citrus growers who subject them to widespread spraying.   It is one of the largest North American butterflies and has a somewhat slow, floppy, endearing flight at times but is also able to fly great distances.
Please comment if you wish.

1 comment:

jimstephenson said...

if citrus growers spray the crap out of them its no wonder you don't see many. I saw many in central illinois last week they are beautiful. Maybe the spraying should end.