Department of Art & Art History

Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor)

Artist: Laura Tranquilino

Battus philenor is located in North America, in Chico, as well in Central America. Found in warm climates among, forests, grasslands, meadows, and woodlands and anywhere the pipevine grows.

Ecological Importance:

  • Pollination: Butterflies pollinate flowers by carrying the nectar around from flower to flower.
  • Biological indicators: Show signs that an environment is thriving. Bidwell Park is an ideal environment for Battus philenor.


Habitat conservations to ensure survival of host plants. For now they are globally secure, though in Michigan they are listed as a special concern, though, in Chico they’re doing well.

Fun Facts:

  • Pipevine swallowtails are poisonous and, specifically, Eastern butterflies have adapted their patterns in effort to scare off predators.
  • The pipevine caterpillar will eat Aristolochia to retain the toxins in its body and overtime the caterpillar and butterfly itself become toxic causing many creatures to leave them alone.
  • Butterflies taste with their feet
  • Butterflies also drink from mud puddles
  • The pipevine butterfly is the mascot for Chico State’s entomology club.