The Two-tailed Swallowtail Butterfly is a mostly yellow
butterfly with narrow black stripes and blue eyespots near the tail. The
eyespots can fool predators into
the rear of the butterfly instead of the head, giving the butterfly a chance to
escape. It grows to 2.75 - 5.25 inches in width and is similar to the Western
Tiger Swallowtail, but has thinner and fewer black stripes on the wings and the
hind wing has two tails.
The Two-tailed Swallowtail is the state
butterfly of Arizona.
The butterfly can be found throughout Arizona except in the
extreme west and southwest (it can also be found in: CA, NM, UT, CO and NV) and
typically lives in canyons and cities at lower elevations. Adults fly from late
February to mid-November. Host plants include: chokecherry, bitter cherry,
Arizona rosewood, single-leaf ash, hoptree and Arizona Sycamore.