I’m hoping you can help identify this butterfly for me. I am an amateur photographer but I still take my work seriously, and would like to know the proper name of this butterfly
I took this picture in May 2008 in Tampa Fl. (West central, St Petersburg Tampa area about ten miles from the Gulf of Mexico.) I do not know the name of the bush, It was very active and lighted for just a few seconds. A fellow there said they like citrus trees and the citrus growers called them “yellow dogs”
This is the giant swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes). And true to the name it is a large striking butterfly that is very abundant in Florida. And while the adult butterfly is welcome to flower gardens the larva or caterpillar, can be considered a pest because it feeds on the foliage of most Citrus species. The larva also feed on prickly ash and hop trees.
My sources say they are commonly “orange dogs”, but like any common name that could vary by location and citrus grower. The larva are yellow-brown(early stage or brown in late stage) with a white saddle and with 2 blotches – one near front and one near rear of the caterpillar. Resembles a bird dropping. It will send out two orange “horns” if disturbed…perhaps where the name comes from?
Looks like your butterfly could be sitting on a citrus plant, but I’m not sure from the photo.