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Zebra Swallowtail

Zebra Swallowtail
Eurytides marcellus
Wingspan: 2 ½ - 4 inches

The region's only "kite" swallowtail is the unmistakable Zebra Swallowtail. No other butterfly has its triangle-shaped, zebra-striped wings, which taper to long, graceful tails.

Below, a brilliant red stripe slashes across the hindwing. The summer generation is larger and has proportionally wider stripes and longer tails than the spring generation.

Look for Zebras sailing along watercourses or nectaring nearby in marshes and fields. Zebra caterpillars require pawpaw trees (Asimina triloba), a shrub or small tree that grows beneath taller trees in rich, damp woods.

Zebra Swallowtail Zebra Swallowtail Zebra Swallowtail

Top © Kim Hosen; Mason Neck, Fairfax, VA; July 2013
Above left © Kim Hosen; Accotink Refuge, Ft. Belvoir, Fairfax, VA; August 2009
Above center © Eli Hosen; Merrimac Farm Wildlife Management Area; August 2015
Above right © Kim Hosen; Merrimac Farm Wildlife Management Area; June 2009