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Anise Swallowtail

Papilio zelican
Photo Source: http://www.faroutflora.com/tag/pipevine-swallowtail/

Habitat: The Anise Swallowtail can be found throughout Alberta and depending on the weather, out of the pupa stage as early as late April continuing on until mid-August. It is primarily a forest butterfly but can sometimes be found in the prairies and in alpine regions.

Description: This butterfly comes in two colour forms, the typical yellow colour and a black version.  The best way to distinguish this butterfly from other Swallowtails is the round eye spot that can be found on the red patch of the hind wing.

Size: 65-80 mm

Diet: This butterfly loves dandelions and the caterpillars eat solely from the carrot family like fennel and anise.  Hence the name.

Fun Facts: In the first half of their larval stage, the larva look just like bird droppings.  Now that’s camouflage!


Acorn, John. Butterflies of Alberta. Edmonton: Lone Pine Publishing, 1993. Print

Mitchell, Robert, and Herbert S. Zim. Butterflies and Moths. Racine: Western Publishing Company Inc.,1987. Print

area wildlife + plants

Wild Strawberry
Fragaria virginiana
Compound leaves with 3 leaflets, that are broad, oval shaped and toothed.  Blue-green in color, smooth above and hairy below. White flowers grow on a leafless stem, 5 petals per flower.  "Berry" is 10-15mm in diameter (much smaller than the berries you buy in the supermarket).
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