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Santa Barbara Field Guides - Butterflies

     Papilio zelicaon
     Anise Swallowtail


Size: wingspread 2.75-3.5 in.
Recognition: Large; deep yellow with fairly wide black band extending down outer edge of wing, with yellow spot band extending through black band; leading edge of FW is thick black area (rather than the thin black stripes of the Western Tiger); distinctive orange spot with round black center on bottom HW edge.
Flight period: The adults are active most of the year.
Hostplants: The larvae of this swallowtail feed on many plants in the parsley family (Apiaceae), especially sweet fennel (Foeniculum vulgare).
Habitat: Found in a wide variety of habitats, including coastal areas, open montane areas, vacant lots, roadsides, fields, gardens, and hilltops.
Distribution: Western portion of U.S., can be found in the lowlands throughout southern California except in the desert areas. Present on Santa Cruz Island in the Santa Barbara Channel, where fennel is abundant.

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