Species Page: Giant Swallowtail (Heraclides cresphontes)

Giant Swallowtail

Heraclides cresphontes (Cramer, 1777)

Family: Papilionidae

Status: Occasional resident

NENHP Ranking: Not listed

Range: The Giant Swallowtail is a resident in southern and eastern portions of the United States. The boundary where residency ends and where it considered a stray is somewhat fluid and in question. It is regularly reported in southern and eastern Nebraska, and has been found as far north as the Niobrara River valley where it has been found on several occasions.

Larval Hostplant(s): An understory plant Prickly Ash (Zanthoxylum americanum) as well as ornamentals Rue (Ruta graveolens) and Gasplant (Dictamnus albus).

Broods/Flight Times: Multiple flights from mid-May to mid-September.

Overwintering: As pupae.

Habitat: As a strong flier this southern species ranges widely and is often sighted in urban areas. Consistent sightings at the Niobrara Valley Preserve where it associates with Prickly Ash suggest the species is capable of overwintering in the state. 

Avg. Wingspan: 4 – 6 1/4 inches.

Found at: Niobrara Valley Preserve, Indian Cave & Ponca State Parks, Twin Oaks, Platte & Basswood Ridge SWMAs, Wildcat Hills SRA

Similar Species: None.


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