Female Black Swallowtail
Papilio polyxenes
Aug. 21, 2011

  Although there are various large, black swallowtails, there is only one official black swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes). Both the female and male black swallowtails are black (and I should update my page of the male black swallowtail, since I've clearer photos now).
Female black swallowtail, above
  Broadly speaking, the main identification of the female black swallowtail comes from her two rows of yellow dots (on the upper wing view).

Below the wing, both male and female black swallowtails have an extra orange dot (sort of like a joint in the inner row).

Female black swallowtail, wings raised
  My reason for the next photo is that I love the view, a butterfly ascending over a thistle flower.
Female black swallowtail over thistle flower
  Well, not only ascending over the flower but enjoying a good drink.

Incidentally, all swallowtails derive their name from the paired "tails" at the bottom of their wings.

Photo note: I used the Pentax K20D, with the Voigtlander 125mm macro lens, on August 20, 2010, for these photos. It was a glorious day for photography, with butterflies everywhere.

My Pennsylvania butterfly page

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