Pipevine Swallowtail   Battus philenor

Life history facts

egg:  female lays batches on underside of host plant leaves

larva:  feeds in small groups when young, becomes solitary when older

pupa:  overwinters

adult:  males patrol hilltops in search of females; flight low and rapid, with shallow, fluttery wingbeats, when perched often continues to flutter

Status:  very rare stray/resident?

Flights:   1-2? Mar-Oct?

Distribution/known sites in Monterey Countyone recent record - Hasting’s Reserve

Habitats:  open: gardens, foothills, deserts, stream valleys

Host plants:  pipevines (Aristolochia californica)

Nectar plants:  CA buckeye, thistle, dogbane, yerba santa, yellow star thistle

Conservation:  none required


  1.   larvae and adults are distasteful to predators due to consumption of toxics (aristolochic acid) in pipevine

  2.   mimics - spicebush, fem. black, and black fem. tiger swallowtails, red-spotted purple, Diana fem. (Batesian mimicry)

  3.   specimen collected by UC Hastings students, 1998

  4.   male HW above blue-green iridescent, subdued on female

nectaring male