Wingspan is 3 1/2 - 5 1/2 inches.
Woodlands, power line cuts, moist forests, swamps
and along waterways.
to rare in the region. Figure Eight Island and Fort Fisher in NC or further
south near the coast are your best bet to find this species in the Carolinas.
In the Virginias they are usually only found in the mountains, just a
few records exist in the NC mountains.
Adults fly from late April into November
in two broods with a gap between broods. Best found in late summer.
Larval Host Plants:
Prickly Ash Xanthaxylum americanum,
Hercules' Club Zanthoxylum clava-herculis and Hoptree Ptelea
trifoliata are the hosts in the northern regions and citrus species
are used in the southern regions.
These swallowtails seem to be in transit when seen and you would be lucky
to see one up close in the region.
My first NC Giant Swallowtail was seen on Figure Eight Island. Vice president
Al Gore was staying on the island at the time and his G men made me put
my camera in the trunk of the car thinking I was a paparazzi.
In July of 2003 hundreds of Giant Swallowtails were reported seen at Bald
Head Island, NC. Normally seeing a handful in the Carolinas is exceptional!
The top and second photos were taken by Bob
Moul in PA. The third and bottom photos were taken in the Carolina
Pavilion Butterfly House in Durham NC.
Species List > Swallowtails