HUGE female Papilio canadensis

I caught a huge female Papilio canadensis today. This is the largest Papilio canadensis butterfly I have ever seen. I have never even seen a wingspan this large ever reported. It was so big I started wondering if it was another species. I have her enclosed with Trembling Aspen - hopefully she lays eggs.

Update: A reader contacted me and suggested that this may in fact be a Papilio glaucus butterfly. This was based on the time of year I caught it. In my area we have both species, which I didn't initially realize. It could also be a P. canadensis X P. glaucus hybrid. Apparently it is quite difficulty to visually distinguish the two species (or their hybrids). I have been told that around Ottawa and further north a butterfly in May and June is likely Canadian Swallowtail (Papilio canadensis), and anything later than July 1 is an Eastern (Papilio glaucus). In Kemptville and Oxford Mills though we may be far enough to see first-generation Eastern Swallowtails... I'd be happy to hear any ID tips from readers!

Sex: Female
Wingspan: 12cm
Body length: 3.3cm (includes head, thorax & abdomen)
Caught July 7 2011 1:00PM by T. Hossie in Kemptville, ON
45°02’52.64’’ N
75°39’33.50’’ W
Elevation: 86m
Notes: Observed feeding on Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) flowers


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