Gender ID a Giant Swallowtail Pupa

Have you ever wondered how to gender ID a Giant Swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes) pupa? Well, it isn't very difficult! The hardest part is if the chrysalis is attached to something. The two pupae I am using in this picture were both attached to coffee filters (one was partially attached to a leaf) so I simply cut the paper behind them to show the backs.

Turn the pupa (chrysalis) over. Now, look at the abdomen (pointy part of the pupa or the part that was hanging down if your pupa was on a stick). You may need a magnifying lens if you can't see very well!

IF you spot a vertical line (see picture below) then you have a female Giant Swallowtail. If no line is there, then you have a male. The blue marking (oval) indicates what the line looks like.

Click on the picture for an enlarged view.

Isn't that easy? Simpler than you probably thought, right?