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Re: beautiful site...

Two possibilities - you may have seen a pipevine swallowtail - its host plants are pipevine and virginia snakeroots. It is the only black swallowtail with blue-green iridescence on the hind wings, white spots, and no yellow or orange on their upper side. It is unpalatable to birds and mammals that eat butterflies, though, so both the female spicebush swallowtail (host plants are spicebush, sassafras, and camphor) and some female eastern tiger swallow tails mimic them. Both the latter have either yellow/sage green spots on the upper sides of their wings. Its difficult, though, to convince any butterfly to stay still long enough for a clear look!

On Sunday, August 3, 2003, at 05:38 AM, Bonnie & Bill Morgan wrote:

Then today, I took the phone out to Bill to talk with someone who had called
as he was cutting grass. I turned back toward the house and spied two
swallowtail butterflies in the "butterfly garden." One of them was a tiger
swallowtail with the normal black and yellow pattern, but the other was a
black except for the bottom section of wing on both sides. That area was an
iridescent blue. Both of them flittered together, landing side by side on
server coneflowers growing there, not quite long enough for me to get my
camera (of course!) but they flew off to another yard together as well. Is
it possible that the black butterfly was the male counterpart to a female
yellow tiger swallowtail? Any ideas?

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