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Butterflies of Alabama -- Papilio palamedes

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Butterflies of North America

Butterflies of Alabama

Palamedes Swallowtail (Papilio palamedes)
JPG -- species photo

Palamedes Swallowtail (Papilio palamedes [Drury])

Wing span: 4 1/2 - 5 1/8 inches (11.4 - 13 cm).

Identification: Upper surface of hind- and forewings with postmedian yellow bands; tails are filled with yellow. Lower surface of hindwing with thin yellow basal stripe and postmedian band of yellow-orange crescents.

Life history: Not reported.

Flight: Two flights, March-December in North; partial 3rd flight in South.

Caterpillar hosts: Plants of the Laurel family (Lauraceae) especially redbay (Persea borbonia).

Adult food: Nectar from flowers of sweet pepperbush, thistles, blue flag, and azalea.

Habitat: Wet woods near rivers and broadleaf evergreen swamp forests.

Range: Along Atlantic coast from southern New Jersey (rare) to Florida; west and south along Gulf Coast to central Mexico.

Conservation: Not usually required.

Management needs: None noted.

The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.

References:

Opler, P. A. and G. O. Krizek. 1984. Butterflies east of the Great Plains.
     Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. 294 pages, 54 color plates.

Opler, P. A. and V. Malikul. 1992. A field guide to eastern butterflies.
     Peterson field guide #4. Houghton-Mifflin Co., Boston. 396 pages, 48
     color plates.

Scott, J. A. 1986. The butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press,
     Stanford, Calif. 583 pages, 64 color plates.

Author: Jane M. Struttmann

State and Regional References:

Opler, P.A. 1998. A field guide to eastern butterflies, revised format.
     Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston.
Palamedes Swallowtail (Papilio palamedes)
distribution map
map legend

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