Skip to main content

Oregon Swallowtail

Oregon State Insect

Oregon Swallowtail   Photo by Alan Schmierer / Flickr (public domain image).

Official State Insect of Oregon

The Oregon legislature designated the Oregon Swallowtail (Papilio oregonius) as Oregon’s official insect in 1979. Not only does it include "Oregon" in both its scientific and common name, it is a Northwest native. It can be found in Idaho and Washington states, as well as south-central British Columbia  All State Insects

The adult Oregon swallowtail feeds on nectar from  wildflowers including balsamroot, phlox, and thistles  The larvae eat only  tarragon sagebrush.  This big, beautiful butterfly is a strong flyer, and was featured on a US postal stamp, one of the first four of the butterfly series issued in 1977.