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.
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:
Glassberg, J. 1993. Butterflies Through Binoculars: A Field Guide to Butterflies in the Boston-New York-Washington Region. Oxford Univ. Press, New York, N.Y. 160 pp. Opler, P.A. 1998. A field guide to eastern butterflies, revised format. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston. Shapiro, A.M. 1966. Butterflies of the Delaware Valley. American Entomological Society Special Publication. Philadelphia, PA. 79 pp. Woodbury, E.N. 1994. Butterflies of Delmarva. Delaware Nature Society, Inc., Tidewater Publishers, Centreville, MD. 138 pp. [NOTE: this book only treats True Butterflies (Papilionoidea). It does not treat Skippers (Hesperioidea).]