www.zinnysworld.com       Copyright 2000-2016 by Thomas Zinneman.  All rights reserved.

Zebra Swallowtail   Eurytides marcellus

The Zebra Swallowtail is a beautiful butterfly with black stripes on a whitish background.  The hind wings have very long tails resembling those of a Swallow-tailed Kite; hence, its alternate name, Kite Swallowtail.  There is also a prominent red stripe on the underside in the middle of the wing.  Its range extends from southern New England westward to southern Minnesota, and southward to eastern Texas and Florida.  Here in Florida, it is found throughout the entire state.  They usually produce two generations a year in northern Florida and three generations in southern Florida.

These butterflies can be observed in open brushy fields, dry pastures, sandhills, and scrubby flatwoods.  Adults are seen from February thru November.  The host plants for their young include Pawpaws and Squirrel Bananas.  Compared to other swallowtail butterflies, the proboscis of the Zebra Swallowtail is much shorter, so they are attracted to flowers that are shorter and flatter, instead of the long tube-shaped flowers.

The images on this page were taken in Deep Creek, Charlotte County during the month of August.  The butterfly is sipping nectar from a Shrubby False Buttonweed plant.