Is this an aberrant swallowtail? Very pretty

christie_sw_mo(Z6)August 17, 2010

I took pictures of this today in my yard here in Missouri.

It didn't flutter its wings alot like a black swallowtail but it was starting to sprinkle and was overcast if that makes a difference.

I wish I had gotten a picture with its wings folded but I didn't get a chance.

I will link to another thread showing an aberrant swallowtail that I saw in 08 in my yard that was similar.

Here is a link that might be useful: Another new Swallowtail for me

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butterflyman(5)

Very interesting -
Have you seen what are they using as a host plant?

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 8:15PM
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christie_sw_mo(Z6)

The three photos are of the same butterfly and I only saw it on the zinnias. It wasn't around very long. When it took off, it landed on my head for just an instant then flew behind me and I didn't see where it went. I searched my yard for quite awhile but it started sprinkling harder so I imagine it took shelter somewhere. Tomorrow's forecast says "mostly sunny" so maybe it will show up again and I can get some more photos.

What do I need to get a better shot of to help id it?

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 9:11PM
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runmede(7a Virginia)

Are you near a butterfly exhibit?

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 9:54PM
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bandjzmom(7 NWGeorgia)

My goodness, that is a very unusual and beautiful butterfly. Sort of puts you in mind of the Anise, but that isn't right either. Hmmm... wonder what in the world it is? I am sure that someone here will solve the mystery. Thanks for sharing the gorgeous pics!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 11:22PM
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bananasinohio(6OH)

I think it is an aberrant black swallowtail. We had another thread here not too long ago about aberrant black swallowtails. They are a highly variable butterfly. If you put Papilio polyxenes into a google image search, you will see other images like yours.
Cheers,
Elisabeth

    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 8:20AM
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bandjzmom(7 NWGeorgia)

I have done a lot of Googling, and cannot find a thing that even comes close to this. That light colored body is unique. I can't wait to hear about what all of you actual butterfly experts decide on this one. :o)

    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 8:52AM
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christie_sw_mo(Z6)

Runmede - The closest exhibit to me that would have non-native butterflies is in Branson Missouri 50+ miles away.

Elisabeth - The thread I linked above may be the one you were talking about.

Patiently waiting for it to get sunny enough outside to go look for it again. : )

    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 8:56AM
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runmede(7a Virginia)

It almost looks like an Old World Swallowtail. I knew of a case where someone visited California and actually took this back with them to Florida because they thought they were taking Black Swallowtails. Boy were they surprised when they found out it wasn't. Both use parsley as a host.

Looking at your pictures the tail looks tapered. It may be a male.

Here is a link that might be useful: Swallowtail - Papilio machaon

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 12:02AM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Wow - another black swallowtail oddity for you, Christie!
Makes me wonder if you've got a colony of them near you.
Sherry

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 10:22AM
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bandjzmom(7 NWGeorgia)

Christie, Just out of curiosity, why don't you post this butterfly over at www.bugguide.net and ask for an ID. It would be interesting to get some more opinions.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 6:58AM
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bananasinohio(6OH)

Here is the discussion we had on Gardenweb before;

http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/butterfly/msg0816193926155.html

Typically these similar variations are found in Mexico;

http://www.mariposasmexicanas.com/papilio_polyxenes_asterius.htm

http://zipcodezoo.com/photographers/Elizabeth%20Cavazos.asp

Cheers,
Elisabeth

    Bookmark   August 22, 2010 at 10:07AM
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bananasinohio(6OH)

Whoops! I see you brought it up for our discussion on aberrants!
Duh..
Elisabeth

    Bookmark   August 22, 2010 at 10:30AM
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christie_sw_mo(Z6)

This is from last year but Sherry's yellow bodied black Tiger made me think of it again.
Ladobe - I don't think you were around when I posted this originally. I wanted you to see it.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 9:43PM
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ladobe

Christie,
Thanks for the heads up (I hadn't seen this thread), and especially for reminding me about that thread three year ago. That one was a zoo and mostly a waste of time and effort, so lessons were learned. After so many years of doing so it's hard for me to not use taxonomic and entomological terms, and all but impossible for me to use common names. On Sherry's current thread I limited my replies to a few sentences and tried not to get too technical. Anyway, that old thread was my fault for trying to convey with only the written word as briefly as possible way too much info for the good folks here. With the bug in hand and my SC, in person it would have been easy to point out the differences and for them to be understood. As mostly home gardeners here who only see what's local and use species level field guides for reference, whats local to them is probably understandable and enough. What's actually common throught a species and its subspecies entire range is not easily understandable without deeper references or having seen it yourself as a well traveled lepidopterist. There is nothing wrong with just doing what's local, and probably is good enough for most here. I've learned deep discussion with only the written word doesn't very work well here. So I'll not make that mistake again and simply leave this thread at...
Very nice pictures of a very pretty swallowtail. ;)
Larry

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 12:43AM
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christie_sw_mo(Z6)

lol Thank you Larry! That's all that's expected. I think I would need several college classes to be able to understand and a lot of years of experience too.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 7:34AM
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imabirdnut

Could it be an Anise or an Old World Swallowtail? They look very similar except their bodies seem to be black instead of yellow.
There is a marker on the map in Missouri for the Anise & the Old World on BAMONA. Maybe it is a mutant BST?

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 9:13AM
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