Anise Swallowtail butterfly

Anise Swallowtail Papilio zelicaon

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Anise Swallowtails are abundant, common and found pretty much throughout all of Washington and Oregon. They can be found in almost any type of habitat, nectar on a wide range of blooms, have numerous host plants. If only they would land more often to be photographed, they might be a photographer’s dream butterfly. They certainly are photogenic.

Sparks Lake, Deschutes County, Oregon

44.02506, -121.72933 In the meadow between Soda Creek and the campground, at the north end of Sparks Lake.

July 9, 2023

ventral view of Anise Swallowtail nectaring on Penstamon
Anise abdomen is black with narrow yellow stripes
dorsal spreadwing view of Papilio zelicaon
a perfect view to see the black dot centered in the orange spot – the only way I can know for sure it’s an Anise and not the Oregon Swallowtail
Anise Swallowtail on Penstamon
This Anise Swallowtail almost looks to large to be nectaring on this delicate Penstemon


  • P. zelicaon is smaller and darker than P. machaon
  • Compare abdomen: black with narrow yellow stripe: zelicaon; yellow with narrow black stripes on top and side: machaon. Try to get photos of this in future.
  • on the wing March to October

See P. zelicaon in Washington.


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