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Lifespan of Swallowtails

jane__ny
August 2, 2010

Curious,

Jane

Comments (4)

  • weed30 St. Louis

    From what I've read and experienced, 2 - 3 weeks. Many die much sooner, through predation or injury.

  • runmede

    Swallowtails (Papilioninae)

    How long do butterflies and moths live?

    If you are talking about the adult stage, I've heard it is only 2 weeks. They consume only nectar, so their body breaks down faster. Believe me I've watched this happen with a Zebra Swallowtail that came out way to early one February. This is Chilly the Zebra Swallowtail.

    {{gwi:529759}}

    Video of the Life Cycle of the Pipevine Swallowtail

    Enjoy the whole cycle. A long life is good, a good life is better. Give the butterflies you raise a good life!

  • ladobe

    Jane,

    Assuming you mean as adults... your question is one that really can't be answered with a set number of days for free roaming wild adult Swallowtails, and even an average range for these would just be speculation. It would be much, much shorter with the wild individuals than captive emerged and held individuals though. Males generally are shorter lived than females.

    Lots of factors can and do determine how long each individual adult Swallowtail lives. Their environmental conditions, nourishment availability, predators, disease and accidental losses are some of them.

    Luckily most wild imago's breed and get their ovum laid soon after they eclose.

    I've read a few studies on lepidopteran population dynamics over the years, and the one thing these studies have in common is that the research authors seldom agree. That's easy to understand though if you take into account that these catch and release studies of tagged individuals over the entire flight period of a brood even in a small isolated colony are far from an exact science.

    Larry

  • jane__ny

    Thank you for the info. I was trying to care for an injured male who couldn't fly. He lasted 3 days.

    Jane

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