Giant Swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes)
This gorgeous black and yellow swallowtail butterfly is one of the North America’s largest butterflies; their wingspan can reach up to 6 inches. Two defining characteristics are the 2 rows of yellow spots on their upper side of their wings and the blue spots on the underside of the hind wings. Its larval nickname is the Orange Dog because this species loves to feed on citrus plants and when disturbed it extends an osmeteria, a foul smelling scent gland that is used to deter predators. Speaking of caterpillars, these look just like bird droppings – a unique trait to avoid getting eaten by predators. The Giant Swallowtail would be a wonderful addition to any garden.