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13 photos

The photos in this gallery show a really unusual Swallowtail. Male Black Swallowtails normally have yellow spots on their dorsal side but females don't. This is a female Swallowtail with yellow spots on its dorsal side, short tales, light orange (instead of dark or red-orange) hindwing eye-spot, and rounded forewings like a Short-tailed Swallowtail (Papilio brevicauda). The dorsal side of its hindwing has minimal black with large yellow orange spots that are normally seen only on the 'Central American' Black Swallowtails (Papilio polyxenes stabilis).Overall, it is most similar to a Central American Black Swallowtail, but none have ever been seen north of Mexico. This Swallowtail has baffled the experts. But since the similar species have never been seen anywhere close to Massachusetts, it is most likely an "aberrant" Black Swallowtail.

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes), aberrant form

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes), aberrant form

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes), aberrant form

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes), aberrant form

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes), aberrant form

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes), aberrant form

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes), aberrant form

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes), aberrant form

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes), aberrant form

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes), aberrant form

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes), aberrant form

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes), aberrant form

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes), aberrant form

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes), aberrant form

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes), aberrant form

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes), aberrant form

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes), aberrant form with 4.5" green line

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes), aberrant form with 4.5" green line

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes), aberrant form

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes), aberrant form

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes), aberrant form

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes), aberrant form

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes), aberrant form

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes), aberrant form

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes), aberrant form

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes), aberrant form