Some family facts

  1. Bullet There are 4 species of swallowtails in Monterey County, no parnassians. 

  2. Bullet The large, attractive, adult butterflies are known for their hilltopping behavior and for moving their wings, or hovering, while nectaring. 

  3. Bullet  Caterpillars have an osmeterium, a chemical scent gland which deters predators. 




  1. round and green


  1. young resemble bird droppings

  2. older have large eyespots

  3. have osmeterium

  4. swallowtails green, parnassians black                             


  1. typical overwintering stage

Adult characteristics:   

  1. fully developed, functioning forelegs

  2. unique pattern wing venation, both FW and HW

Adult behaviors:

  1. most hilltop

  2. move wings while nectaring

Papilionids in Monterey County:

   pipevine swallowtail Battus philenor   

    pale swallowtail Papilio eurymedon   

    western tiger swallowtail Papilio rutulus

    anise swallowtail Papilio zelicaon

pale swallowtail

swallowtails and parnassians