Creativity Magazine

Which Is It?

By Vickilane
Which Is It?
This lovely visitor to my flowers set me wondering -- is this a Spicebush Swallowtail or a Black Swallowtail? 
Which Is It?
                    Or are there two names for one butterfly?
Which Is It?
Fortunately my friend Mr. Google was there, helpful as always.
Which Is It?
There are, indeed, two different mostly black swallowtails. And they look an awful lot alike. The Spicebush is larger . . . but that's not a lot of help when there's no Black to compare it with.
Which Is It? Definitive indentification come from a look at the underwing -- Spice (Papilio troilus) has a 'comet' while Black (Papilio polyxenes) has an eye spot.
Which Is It? My pictures don't show the underwing as clearly as I'd like but I think I've identified my visitor. If you'd like to have a go at it, the information on the identifying marks is HERE.. 
Which Is It? And here's a closeup of the relevant area of the underwing. Alas, something has taken a bite out of the tip where the eye spot is (or is not) but isn't that a comet?
As is so often true in this life of ours, it's the little things that make a difference. . .
Which Is It?

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