Butterfly #13 — Pipevine Swallowtail

battus philenor

Monday, July 26, 1999 — 10:00 am

Pope County, Arkansas — Holla Bend National Wildlife Refuge

This butterfly competes with the Giant Swallowtail as my favorite so far.

I had been seeing them all morning, wherever there were trees and bushes, but I hadn’t gotten a good-enough look. I was looking at a Giant Swallowtail in the woods along the old channel when I saw several of these in and about the same thicket.

They were smaller than the Giant Swallowtail. They were dark. On some, the upper side of the hind wing had a faint teal iridescence. On others, the entire hind wing was brilliant teal. The underside of the hind wing was also teal with a row of seven large orange circles, rimmed in black arcing sub-marginally around the edge of the wing.

Later I saw twenty or so sitting on the mud next to the boat landing on Lodge Lake in the refuge. There was a Giant Swallowtail and what was probably a Black Swallowtail with them. They sat tight when I bent over to take pictures and some of them stayed even when I waved my foot inches above them.

A smaller butterfly, perhaps a Painted Lady kept hovering in the area and often tried to land on the teal area of the upper wing when a Pipevine Swallowtail would open its wings. On two occasions, this smaller butterfly actually landed and perched for several seconds on a larger butterfly.

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