Giant Swallowtail Butterfly (Papilio cresphontes)
This gorgeous black and yellow swallowtail butterfly is one of North America’s largest butterflies; its wingspan can reach up to 6 inches. Two defining characteristics are the two rows of yellow spots on the 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 osmeterium, a foul smelling scent gland 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 an excellent addition to any garden.