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Swallowtail Butterfly

Palamedes Swallowtail Butterfly (Papilio palamedes) is a native butterfly with a close association to the plants in the understory of the pocosins at Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge. The adult female butterflies lay their eggs on red bay plants that are common in the pocosins. They feed on the flowers of the many wetland wildflowers, shrubs, and trees on the refuge. The butterflies are working Virginia iris now. They will move on to other flowers such as swamp milkweed, coastal sweet pepperbush, and coastal Joe Pye weed as the growing season progresses.