Ozark Insects - Zebra Swallowtail Butterfly
This beauty chose me as its own personal salt block after I had spent the day on the river floating with friends. I was pretty sweaty and gross. Butterflies like sweaty and gross the best.
This is a Zebra Swallowtail. They are common around the Jacks Fork, preferring flat forested areas near rivers and swamps. This one was at an access called Baptism Hole.
Zebra Swallowtails can have a wingspan of 2 1/2 to 4 inches across! Their wings have long tails like streamers, earning them also the name of a Kite Swallowtail. There are 140 different species of kite swallowtails found in the American tropics with only the Zebra Swallowtail being found commonly in North America.
These butterflies are limited to the eastern half of the nited states and are occasionally found in southern Ontario, Canada.
Its caterpillars feed on the leaves of Paw-paws, preferring the younger plants.
The adult butterflies can be found feeding on flowers like water-willow, dogbane, and blackberry blossoms. They have a shorter tongue than most butterflies their size.
I hope you liked learning a little about another Ozarks insect! I wish I had kept track of all the insects and critters I have covered so I could include a list in things like this. Just scroll back through my blog and you'll find tons of information about the flora and fauna of the southern Missouri Ozarks!