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.