Black Swallowtail ~ Papilio polyxenes (Fabricius, 1775)

Family: Parnassians and Swallowtails (Papilionidae)

Subfamily: Swallowtails (Papilioninae)

Identification: Upper surface of wings mostly black; on inner edge of hindwing is a black spot centered in larger orange spot. Male has yellow band near edge of wings; female has row of yellow spots. Female hindwing with iridescent blue band. In the Southwest, yellow forms predominate in the subspecies P. coloro.

Life history: Males perch and patrol for receptive females. Female lays eggs singly on leaves and flowers of the host, which are then eaten by hatching larvae. Hibernates as a chrysalis.

Flight: One-2 flights from April-October in northern regions of range; 3 flights in southern regions.

Wing span: 3 1/4 – 4 1/4 inches (8 – 11 cm).

Caterpillar hosts: Leaves of plants in the parsley family (Apiaceae) including Queen Anne’s Lace, carrot, celery and dill. Sometimes plants in the citrus family (Rutaceae) are preferred.

Adult food: Nectar from flowers including red clover, milkweed, and thistles.

Habitat: A variety of open areas including fields, suburbs, marshes, deserts, and roadsides.

Range: Most of the eastern U.S., north into Quebec, west into s. Saskatchewan, Colorado and se. California; south to n. South America. Subspecies coloro in desert Southwest.

Conservation: Not usually of concern.

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

Management needs: Maintain open fields in East.
Documented Records for Papilio polyxenes

Display alternate map range:
North AmericaAlabamaArizonaArkansasCaliforniaColoradoConnecticutDelawareDistrict of ColumbiaFloridaGeorgiaIllinoisIndianaIowaKansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMarylandMassachusettsMexicoMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouriMontanaNebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew JerseyNew MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhioOklahomaPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth CarolinaSouth DakotaTennesseeTexasUtahVermontVirginiaWest VirginiaWisconsinWyoming

Comments

  • eXposure
    eXposureabout 6 years ago

    beautifully captured …

  • Squealia
    Squealiaabout 6 years ago

    lovely capture :O)

  • Catherine Hamilton-Veal  ©
    Catherine Hami...about 6 years ago

    beautiful Lisa.x

  • Steve Bulford
    Steve Bulfordabout 6 years ago

    Nice shot, good detatil.

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