The zebra swallowtail adult can live up to six months (Chesapeake Bay Program 2012). These butterflies have a longer lifespan than most other butterfly species (Animal Spot 2014).

Sometimes the males will gather in small groups on moist soil and sand to get nutrients and salts.  This is called puddling. (Chesapeake Bay Program 2012).

The zebra swallowtail was grouped first in the genus Papilio.  Then the swallowtail butterfly was renamed Graphium marcellus.  Today, it is known as Eurytides marcellus (Animal Diversity Web 2001).

E. marcellus have shallow wing beats because they fly near the ground.  The flight of this butterfly has been described as erratic and batlike (Animal Diversity Web 2001).

E. marcellus was named the official state butterfly of Tennessee in 1995 (State Symbols USA n.d.)

We chose this organism because we had to choose an organism from the phylum Arthropoda; however, we do not like creepy-crawlies.  Therefore, we chose a butterfly because they are more gentle, beautiful creatures.  Although these butterflies are gentle creatures, they have a chemical defense to deter predators.


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