The Two-tailed Swallowtail, (Papilio multicaudata,) was adopted on May 9, 2001 as Arizona's state butterfly. The newest of the state symbols, the two-tailed swallowtail has yellow and black wings with a wing span between three and a half up to five inches in length. A swallowtail's habitat includes canyon lands, foothills, valleys and woodlands.
The adult butterfly (also commonly called two-tailed tiger swallowtail) has yellow to orangish-yellow wings edged thickly with black. Each wing has 4 almost parallel stripes (the innermost stripe is the longest, while the outermost two may simply be bars). The hindmost part of each wing has a curved row of blue patches and below the blue are several bars or spots of orange. Two tails extend from the rear of the hind wing, with the innermost tail considerably shorter.
The caterpillar (larvae) of the two-tailed swallowtail butterfly is light green and marked near the head with four yellow dots and two yellowish eyespots with blue centers. The "neck" of the caterpillar is banded with black and yellow, and the body has several rows of tiny blue dots. The caterpillar turns brownish or reddish just prior to pupation. Caterpillars feed on the leaves of a variety of trees and shrubs, adults drink flower nectar.
Two-tailed Swallowtail (Papilio multicaudata Kirby)
Wing span: 3 1/2 - 5 inches (9 - 12.7 cm).
Upper surface of male forewing with narrow black stripes. Each hind wing has 2 tails.
Males patrol stream courses or city streets for receptive females. Eggs are laid singly on leaves of host plant. Caterpillars eat leaves and rest on silken mats in shelters of curled leaves. Chrysalids hibernate.
One flight May to mid-August in North, most of year in South.
Leaves of ash (Fraxinus), hop tree (Ptelea), and chokecherry (Prunus).
Nectar from thistles, milkweeds, California buckeye, lilac, and many others.
Foothill slopes and canyons, moist valleys, streamsides, woodlands, parks, roadsides, suburbs, and cities.
Western North America south from British Columbia, east to central Nebraska and central Texas, south through Mexico.
State of Arizona
House of Representatives
First Regular Session
HOUSE BILL 2247
AMENDING TITLE 41, CHAPTER 4.1, ARTICLE 5, ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES, BY ADDING SECTION 41-860; RELATING TO STATE EMBLEMS.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Arizona:
Section 1. Title 41, chapter 4.1, article 5, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended by adding section 41-860, to read:
41-860. State butterfly
A. THE PAPILIONIDAE PAPILIO MULTICAUDATA, TWO-TAILED SWALLOWTAIL IS THE OFFICIAL STATE BUTTERFLY.
B. DESIGNATION OF THE STATE BUTTERFLY PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL NOT CONSTITUTE GROUNDS FOR PROTECTION OF THE BUTTERFLY OR ITS HABITAT.
APPROVED BY THE GOVERNOR MAY 9, 2001.
FILED IN THE OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE MAY 9, 2001.
The law designating the two-tailed swallowtail as the official Arizona state butterfly is found in the rizona Revised Statutes, Title 41, Chapter 4.1, Article 5, Section 41-860.
Arizona Legislature Archives
41-860. State butterfly
A. The papilionidae papilio multicaudata, two-tailed swallowtail is the official state butterfly.
B. Designation of the state butterfly pursuant to this section shall not constitute grounds for protection of the butterfly or its habitat.
Taxonomic Hierarchy: Two-tailed SwallowtailKingdom: Animalia (Animals)
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