Family: PAPILIONIDAE (Swallowtail Butterflies)
The Anise Swallowtail is a large butterfly with a wing span of 3 - 3 1/8 inches. Black and yellow, it can be distinguished from similar species by its lack of a "tiger stripe" on the upper forewing and slightly smaller size.
Range and Habitat
This butterfly can be found throughout the western states, British Columbia and Alberta, but is not regularly found in the lower deserts of California, Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico. In our region it is found in urban, agricultural, coastal sage scrub and chaparral habitats.
Anise swallowtails are quick high fliers and are known to hilltop. Females lay their basketball shaped eggs singly on plants in the Apiaceae family. First and second instar caterpillars are mostly black and may resemble bird droppings. The caterpillars in their later instars obtain a relatively large size and are quite striking -- light green with orange dots. To defend themselves they use osmateria, fleshy orange filaments, that project from just behind the head and smell terrible. They overwinter as a chrysalis (pupa).
Related or Similar Species
Giant Swallowtail, Tiger Swallowtail