Polydamas Swallowtail

Lisa G. Putman

Joined November 2007

Artist's Description

Battus Polydamas: Dorsal view (Linnaeus, 1758)

Family: Parnassians and Swallowtails (Papilionidae)

Subfamily: Swallowtails (Papilioninae)

Identification: Lacks tails. Black above with submarginal yellow band.

Life history: Female lays eggs in groups of 10-14 on exposed new stems or growing tips of vines. Caterpillars feed in groups when young. Overwinter as chrysalids.

Flight: Two-3 flights from April-November.

Wing span: 3 1/2 – 4 1/2 inches (9 – 12 cm).

Caterpillar hosts: Pipevines (Aristolochia species).

Adult food: Nectar of lantana. Occasionally seen feeding on honeysuckle and soapweed flowers.

Habitat: Open woods, abandoned fields, disturbed areas.

Range: South Texas and peninsular Florida south to Argentina. Strays north to Kentucky and Missouri.

Conservation: None noted.

NatureServe Global Status: G5 – Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.

Management needs: Manage habitat for caterpillar host plant and nectar sources.

Artwork Comments

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