Butterfly Atlas Species Accounts

Butterfly Atlas data collected from 1986-1990

Zebra Swallowtail

Eurytides marcellus

Named

Cramer,1777

Identification

Wingspan: 2 3/8 - 3 1/2". Could be confused with tiger swallowtails, but generally smaller, whitish or greenish (never bright yellow) with bolder more extensive black stripes above and below and notably long tails in proporion to wing size. A red slash across the hind wing below is diagnostic in all forms and both sexes. Seasonally variable with two or three forms described; individuals emerging later in the season are darker, larger and have longer tails.

Distribution

Most of eastern United States from the Great Plains eastward, breeding north to southern Wisconsin and Michigan, western New York.

Status in Massachusetts

Accidental, with two Massachusetts records: Brighton (Suffolk Co.), June (no year given), C. Bowers (Clark, 1925) and Fall River (Bristol Co.), 12 July 1923, W.P. Rogers (Rogers, 1928). Also recorded from Connecticut and Rhode Island fide Farquhar, 1934.

Flight Period in Massachusetts

Existing dates are in June and July.

Larval Food Plants

Various papaw (Asimina) species (Custard Apple family-Annonaceae), especially Asimina triloba, which ranges north to western New York and Long Island.

Adult Food Sources

Information for this species in Massachusetts is currently unavailable.

Habitat

Typically rich deciduous woodlands along rivers and near wetlands, but in New England, where its foodplant does not occur, probably most likely to be found in open areas.

Life Cycle

Species does not reproduce in Massachusetts.

Account Author

Chris Leahy