The Pipeline Swallowtail got it's name from being dependent upon the native plant called the Dutchman's Pipevine. This painting was done after I visited a beautiful native preserve in New Hope Pennsylvania called Bowman Hill's Wildflower Preserve. I had been familiar with the pipevine plants of the tropics but didn't realize there was a native one in the Northeast. I was fascinated by this little tiny flower as all the tropical varieties were 4 to 5 times larger. The Pipevine Swallowtail lays its eggs on the leaves and the young caterpillars group together to look like one large scary caterpillar until they are big enough to wander off on their own. The caterpillars create a chrysalis similar to their tropical cousins by leaning off of a branch and securing themselves by a thin filament. The adults appear mostly black on the topside but when the sun hits them just right they shimmer iridescent blues. On the underside they have bright orange/red spots which make them look a bit scary as they flash color as they hover over flowers while feeding.
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