black swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONFIRMATION STATUS: Confirmed.


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 hind- wing with iridescent blue band. In the Southwest, yellow

forms predominate in the subspecies Papilio 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 (Api-

aceae) 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 glob-

ally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the
periphery.


MANAGEMENT NEEDS: Maintain open fields in East.


SKY MEADOWS OCCURRENCE:

 

Note: Due to seasonal conditions in this region, occurrence may vary from

year to year. The designation of occurrence may range over two or more

categories and may vary even during a single season.

 

Key to Checklist

A   Abundant: Easy to see very large numbers of individuals in appropriate habitat
      at proper time of year.
C   Common: Usually each to see good numbers of individuals in appropriate habitat
      at proper time of year.

U   Uncommon: Sometimes found in appropriate habitat and proper time of year,
      usually in low numbers.

O   Occasional: Found in appropriate habitat perhaps only a few times a year, usually
      in low numbers.
R   Rare: Small chance of being found, even in appropriate habitat at proper time of
      year. There are few individuals and may not be present every year.
X   Extirpated: Formerly present, no longer occurs in Sky Meadows Park.

 

      January

      February

      March

      April
     
May

      June

      July

      August

      September

      October

      November

      December

 

Back to Inventory of Butterfly Families and Species

Home Page

Park Activities

   Calendar of Events
  
Volunteer Programs

   Park Regulations

Sky Meadows Park
  
Location
   Geography
   Habitats
   Trails
   Visiting Park

   Virtual Tours

Crooked Run Valley

   Historic District

   Architecture Sites

   Mt. Bleak

   Historical Events

   Park History

   Agriculture

Special Projects

   Blue Bird

   Biodiversity Survey

   BioBlitz 

Home Page

Nature Guide

   Purpose

   Databases

   Copyright

Plants

   Trees

   Shrubs

   Vines

   Forbs/Herbs

   Ferns

   Grasses

Animals

   Mammals

   Birds

   Reptiles

   Amphibians

   Fish

   Butterflies

   Bees

Fungi

   Mushrooms

   Lichens