A Passing Spicebush Swallowtail

So few butterflies have visited our backyard this summer. Their numbers have been the lowest I’ve ever seen.

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So, I got excited when a spicebush swallowtail flew across our backyard on its way south. It didn’t stop.

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Our yard’s been full of them at times over the years … them and many other butterfly species too.

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A butterfly in an odd position usually means it’s in the clutches of a predator.

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In this case it was a female crab spider.

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Females are much bigger than the males.

Crab spiders have the ability to change color to match the color of the flower they’re on. Obviously, this one hadn’t changed yet. I have no idea how long the change takes.

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6 responses to this post.

  1. Nature red in tooth and claw but still beautiful.

    Reply

  2. I’ve never seen that butterfly. It’s a beauty but it’s too bad the spider got it.
    I’ve read that they can take several days to change color.

    Reply

  3. Thanks for sharing. I saw one the other day on some milkweed. I always thought these were black swallowtails. Thanks for the photos so I could identify that what I saw was a spicebush swallowtail as well.

    Reply

    • The spicebush swallowtail, black swallowtails and pipevine all resemble each other to a certain degree… and then there’s the dark form tiger swallowtail too.

      Reply

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