Appearance: Looks much like a Western Tiger Swallowtail with pale cream or whitish background and heavy black stripes above and below rather than yellow and black. It also shows broad black borders on the trailing edges of both wings with cream (can appear white) colored dashes and crescents within the borders. The under-wings are similar to Western Tiger Swallowtails but are cream and black and there is an orange crescent spot leading into the tail.
Size: Large; 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 inches
Habitat: Mountain habitats with streams, canyons and open areas in forested regions
Season: April to July
Larval Foodplant: Buckthorn, chokecherry, alder, wild plum, and others
Did You Know…
This is our only cream and black swallowtail in the west and is more likely to be found flying near hilltops and along ridge tops than either the two-tailed or western tiger swallowtail. Most of our swallowtails overwinter as pupae (also known as chrysalids).
Species Gallery (click to enlarge)