Are pipevine swallowtails rare?

For centuries, the California pipevine swallowtail — or, Battus philenor hirsuta — called San Francisco home. As development increased in the early 20th century, the butterfly slowly began to disappear. Today it is a rare sight.

Where does the pipevine swallowtail live?

Battus philenor, the pipevine swallowtail or blue swallowtail, is a swallowtail butterfly found in North America and Central America. This butterfly is black with iridescent-blue hindwings. They are found in many different habitats, but are most commonly found in forests.

Are pipevine swallowtail caterpillars poisonous to touch?

“Don’t eat ’em; they’re quite poisonous.” The caterpillars of the Pipevine Swallowtail feed on the poisonous host plant, Aristolochia, also known as the pipevine, Dutchman’s pipe or birthwort. It contains the lethal toxin aristolochic acid.

How do you attract pipevine swallowtails?

Pipevine Swallowtail Host Plants As their name suggests, pipevine swallowtails host on pipevines. If you want to increase your chances of seeing these butterflies in your garden, plant some native pipevines for them to lay their eggs on.

How long do pipevine swallowtails stay in chrysalis?

Pipevine Swallowtail Life Cycle Stages and Times

Stage Typical Duration
Egg stage Generally 4 to 10 days, depending on temperature and host plant
Caterpillar (larval) stage 3 to 4 weeks
Chrysalis (pupal) stage 10 to 20 days (except for overwintering pupae)
Adult butterfly stage 6 to 14 days

How long does it take for a swallowtail caterpillar to turn into a butterfly?

Swallowtails are famous for wandering far from the host plant and taking their time to emerge from the chrysalis at unpredictable times. Monarch caterpillars are generally reliable in taking 10-14 days to eclose, or make the transition from chrysalis to butterfly.

What time of year do swallowtail butterflies lay eggs?

The black swallowtail has two generations a year. The first group of butterflies emerges between late April and early June after having overwintered in the chrysalis. They mate and then the females lay small white eggs on the underside and tops of plant leaves. The eggs hatch in 3-5 days.

What do you feed a pipevine swallowtail caterpillar?

Caterpillars (larvae) eat the leaves and seedpods of the pipevine plant. Adult butterflies feed on a variety of plants for their nectar and may also seek out minerals at puddles.

What happens if you touch a swallowtail caterpillar?

Most caterpillars are perfectly safe to handle. Painted lady and swallowtail caterpillars are common examples. Even the monarch butterfly caterpillar, though toxic if eaten, does nothing more than tickle you when held.

What do you feed a pipevine swallowtail?

What do they eat? Caterpillars (larvae) eat the leaves and seedpods of the pipevine plant. Adult butterflies feed on a variety of plants for their nectar and may also seek out minerals at puddles.

Where can I find the pipevine swallowtail butterfly?

The Pipevine Swallowtail is a species of iridescent blue butterflies found in several parts of the Americas. They are mostly seen during the spring and the summer months in sunlit meadows and fields. Some species use the pipevine swallowtail as a template for mimicry.

How many generations does the pipevine swallowtail have?

In Virginia, the pipevine swallowtail has two generations a year. Eggs are laid in small groups on young foliage or stems at the base of leaves. In their early instars, the caterpillars are gregarious. However, as they mature, they become solitary. Their coloration also changes.

How long does a pipevine swallowtail butterfly chrysalis last?

As a defensive adaptation, they draw aristolochic acid from the food plants they consume in order to protect themselves from predators by being poisonous when consumed by the latter. This stage lasts for 3 to 4 weeks. The chrysalis is light brown with darker vein-like markings all over the body.

Where can you find pipevine vine in Virginia?

In Virginia, pipevine is found mainly in the mountains as far north as Rockingham County. It is a high-climbing, woody, twining vine which can reach 30 feet or more and has large, heart-shaped leaves, but the really remarkable feature is the flower.