Habitat & Range
Swallowtails are found on every continent except Antarctica. The majorities are distributed across tropical and temperate regions from sea level to high mountains.
Adult butterflies often exhibit polymorphism, or differences in appearance based on their native geography or seasonal influences. Members of single species may exhibit vastly different forms between each other. Butterflies also often develop spots or coloring that directly mimics other animal species. A butterfly's colors and spots may mimic the large eyes of an owl in order to scare away potential predators.
Many butterflies feed on the nectar of plants. Some subsist on pollen or tree sap. Swallowtail butterflies feed on plants of the citrus family while in the larvae stage, and are therefore considered pests in citrus orchards.
Reproduction & Lifespan
Like all animals with indirect development, butterflies undergo 4 stages of morphology: egg, larva (caterpillar), pupa (cocoon) and imago (maturity).
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