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Butterflies of Colorado -- Papilio eurymedon

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Butterflies of North America

Butterflies of Colorado

Pale Swallowtail (Papilio eurymedon)
JPG -- species photo

Pale Swallowtail (Papilio eurymedon Lucas)

Wing span: 2 1/2 - 3 1/2 inches (6.4 - 9 cm).

Identification: Upper surface of wings creamy white with black stripes. Front wing is narrow and pointed; tail of hindwing is long, slender and twisted.

Life history: Males perch and patrol for receptive females. Females lay eggs singly on host plant leaves. Caterpillars feed on leaves and rest on silken mats in shelters of curled leaves. Pupae hibernate.

Flight: One flight from April-July, many flights in southern California from March-August.

Caterpillar hosts: Trees and shrubs in the Rosaceae, Rhamnaceae and Betulaceae families including cherry (Prunus emarginata), coffee-berry (Rhamnus californica), and ash (Fraxinus spp.).

Adult food: Flower nectar including California buckeye, yerba santa, and wallflower.

Habitat: Foothills, open woodlands, chaparral, streamsides.

Range: British Columbia east to Montana, south to New Mexico. California and Baja California.

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:

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

Tilden, J. W. 1986. A field guide to western butterflies.  Houghton-Mifflin Co.,
     Boston, Mass. 370 pages, 23 color plates.

Author: Jane M. Struttmann

State and Regional References:

Brown, F.M., Eff, J.D., and B. Rotger. 1957. Colorado Butterflies. Denver 
     Museum of Natural History, Denver.

Ferris, C.D. and F.M. Brown. 1980. Butterflies of the Rocky Mountain States. 
     University of Oklahoma Press. Norman.

Layberry, R.A., Hall, P.W. & Lafontaine, D.J., 1998.  The Butterflies of 
     Canada.  University of Toronto Press, Toronto, ON.  280 pp. 

Opler, Paul A. 1999. Peterson Field Guide to Western Butterflies, revised 
     edition. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass.

Stanford, R.E. and P.A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of Western USA Butterflies. 
     Privately published, Denver, Colo.

Tilden, J.W. and A.C. Smith. 1986. A Field Guide to Western Butterflies. 
     Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass.
Pale Swallowtail (Papilio eurymedon)
distribution map
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