California Gardens - The Year Round Gardening Site

Giant Swallowtail - Papilio cresphontes

The Giant Swallowtail is sometimes a pest on citrus trees, hence the other common name of Orange Dog. The Giant Swallowtail caterpillars can make a mess of a small tree but rarely do significant damage to a full sized tree. And the butterflies are spectacular, welcome additions to most any butterfly garden. The adults sip nectar from a wide variety of plants including this Lantana, honeysuckle, a variety of plants in the carnation family, milkweeds, azaleas and bouganvillea. The Giant Swallowtail eggs look like bits of orange peel and age to black. The larvae resemble bird droppings through several of their instars.

High resolution photos of the Giant Swallowtail are part of our garden image collection.

Giant Swallowtail, Papilio cresphontes