Anise Swallowtail

Papilio zelicaon Lucas, 1852

Family: Papilionidae

Status: uncommon local resident

NENHP Ranking: Tier 2

Broods/Flight Times: There are two flights. In Nebraska the primary flight occurs in the spring and early summer (9 – 30 May), these adults having emerged from overwintering pupae. The second flight may only be partial with adults on the wing from late June to mid July

Larval Hostplant(s): Primarily Thread Leaf Musineon (M. tenuifolium) in our region

Habitat: In Nebraska this species is most common in the western half of the panhandle where it inhabits rocky hillsides, ridges and roadcuts where the hostplant is found.

Found at: Gilbert-Baker SWMA, Fort Robinson and Chadron SPs, Wildcat Hills and Bridgeport SRAs, I-80 East Sidney Rest Stop

Overwintering: As pupae

Similar Species: Bairds’ Swallowtail for the yellow form, and Black Swallowtail for form nitra

Notes: A black form nitra occurs in our area, usually comprising about a quarter of the population. This species range and those of the Black and Bairds’ swallowtails overlap in western Nebraska. They also have some hostplants in common in that area and have been hybridized in the lab, so wild hybrids could occur.

Anise Swallowtail, Photo by Matthew Brust
Anise Swallowtail – dorsal
Anise Swallowtail – ventral
Anise Swallowtail form “nitra”- dorsal
Anise Swallowtail form “nitra”- ventral

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