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Zebra Swallowtail Butterfly

Zebra Swallowtail Coloration and Size

The Zebra Swallowtail (Protographium marcellus) is a beautiful butterfly welcomed in any landscape or garden. Its distinctive wing shape and long tails make it easy to identify, and its black and white-striped pattern is reminiscent of a zebra.

Its wingspan is in the Size: 2.5" - 4.0" range.

Distribution and Habitat

It ranges throughout the eastern United States, but is found more often in the southern states.

It prefers to stay in moist wood habitats that support the pawpaw, and is not often found on cleared lands.

Nectar and Host Plants Used by the Zebra Swallowtail

Host plants used by the Zebra Swallowtail include ommon Pawpaw and Dwarf Pawpaw.

favorite nectar plants are Milkweed, Cosmos, Sweet William, and Zinnia.

Zebra Swallowtail Life Cycle Stages and Durations

Stage Typical Duration
Egg stage Generally 4 to 10 days, depending on temperature and host plant
Caterpillar (larval) stage 3 to 4 weeks
Chrysalis (pupal) stage 10 to 20 days (except for overwintering pupae)
Adult butterfly stage 6 to 14 days


Photos of Zebra Swallowtail Butterflies

Zebra Swallowtail Butterfly
Zebra Swallowtail Butterfly

Zebra Swallowtail Butterfly
Zebra Swallowtail Butterfly

Zebra Swallowtail Butterfly in Fayetteville, Alabama
Zebra Swallowtail in Fayetteville, Alabama
Photo by and courtesy of Joe Wombough, March 23, 2019)

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