Spicebush Swallowtail Papilio troilus Linnaeus, 1758  

Status:

Spicebush Swallowtail (Papilio troilus) occurs commonly throughout Maryland. This blackish butterfly is a Batesian mimic of the distasteful Pipevine Swalllowtail (Battus philenor). Batesian mimicry is when one or more harmless species mimics the appearance of a toxic or distasteful species, attaining some degree of protection from predators who learn to avoid the model, a protection usually extending to the mimics as well.

This swallowtail is on the wing much of the spring and summer in Maryland, from early May into early September, in several broods (Butterflies of Maryland: A Biological Summary and Checklist by Lynn Davidson & Richard Smith; Brock & Kaufman 2003).

Relationships:

Spicebush Swallowtail larvae only use the family Lauraceae as host plants. This includes Common Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) and Sassafras (Sassafras albidum).

There are 486 records in the project database.

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A Spicebush Swallowtail on Swamp Milkweed in Frederick Co., Maryland (7/29/2013). Photo by Richard Orr. (MBP list)

A Spicebush Swallowtail in Garrett Co., Maryland (8/11/2012). Photo by Frode Jacobsen. (MBP list)

A male Spicebush Swallowtail in Baltimore City, Maryland (7/14/2006). Photo by Thomas Wilson. (MBP list)

Underwing of a nectaring Spicebush Swallowtail found in Wicomico Co., Maryland (6/17/2007). Photo by Jim Brighton. (MBP list)

A Spicebush Swallowtail in Harford Co., Maryland (7/13/2017). Photo by Mary Sweet. (MBP list)

A Spicebush Swallowtail in Baltimore Co., Maryland (8/8/2014). Photo by Frode Jacobsen. (MBP list)

A Spicebush Swallowtail caterpillar in Washington Co., Maryland (9/17/2013). Photo by Bonnie Ott. (MBP list)

A Spicebush Swallowtail caterpillar in Washington Co., Maryland (9/17/2013). Photo by Bonnie Ott. (MBP list)

A Spicebush Swallowtail caterpillar in Harford Co., Maryland (9/9/2015). Photo by Bob Cammarata. (MBP list)

A Spicebush Swallowtail larva in Baltimore Co., Maryland (9/18/2016). Photo by Bob Cammarata. (MBP list)

A Spicebush Swallowtail caterpillar in Howard Co., Maryland (9/25/2013). Photo by Bonnie Ott. (MBP list)

A Spicebush Swallowtail caterpillar in Howard Co., Maryland (9/25/2013). Photo by Bonnie Ott. (MBP list)

A Spicebush Swallowtail caterpillar in Howard Co., Maryland (9/5/2013). Photo by Bonnie Ott. (MBP list)

A Spicebush Swallowtail larva in Kent Co., Maryland (6/13/2016). Photo by Shannon Schade. (MBP list)

An early instar of a Spicebush Swallowtail caterpillar in Washington Co., Maryland (10/3/2012). Photo by Bonnie Ott. (MBP list)

An early instar Spicebush Swallowtail in Howard Co., Maryland (9/5/2013). Photo by Richard Orr. (MBP list)

A Spicebush Swallowtail collected in Frederick Co., Maryland (8/8/1999). Photo by Mark Etheridge. (MBP list)

A Spicebush Swallowtail pupa in St. Mary's Co., Maryland (8/29/2009). See caterpillar image from 8/23. Photo by Tyler Bell. (MBP list)

A Spicebush Swallowtail caterpillar in Carroll Co., Maryland (7/31/2019). Photo by Emilio Concari. (MBP list)

A Spicebush Swallowtail in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (9/1/2018). Photo by Matthew Beziat. (MBP list)

A Spicebush Swallowtail egg on Sassafras in Dorchester Co., Maryland (8/16/2018). Photo by Mark Etheridge. (MBP list)


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