North American Butterflies and Moths List

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Butterflies of North America

Butterflies of Missouri

Ozark Swallowtail (Papilio joanae)

Ozark Swallowtail (Papilio joanae Heitzman)

Wing span: 3 1/4 - 4 1/16 inches (8.2 - 10.2 cm).

Identification: Nearly identical to Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes). Face is yellow; black pupil in eyespot trailing edge of hindwing is not centered and touches inner edge of windwing.

Life history: Females lay eggs singly on the host plant, and newly-hatched caterpillars eat the leaves and reproductive parts. Chrysalids overwinter

Flight: Two flights of adults (April to September).

Caterpillar hosts: Yellow pimpernal, meadow parsnip, and golden alexander in the parsley family (Apiaceae).

Adult food: Nectar of flowers such as rose verbena, wood betony, puccoon, and false garlic.

Habitat: Cedar blades and woodlands.

Range: Missouri, northern Arkansas, and western Kentucky.

Comments: A relative of the Old World Swallowtail.

Conservation: Species of concern with small limited range. Alien weeds such as garlic mustard may be reducing habitat quality.

Management needs: None noted.

The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G3 - Very rare or local throughout its range or found locally in a restricted range.


Heitzman, J.R. and J.E. Heitzman.  1987.  Butterflies and moths of Missouri.
      Missouri Department of Conservation, Jefferson City.  385 pp.

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: Paul A. Opler

State and Regional References:

Heitzman, J.R. and Heitzman, J.E.  1987.  Butterflies and Moths of Missouri.
     Missouri Dept. of Conservation.  Jefferson City, MO.  385 pp. 

Layberry, R.A., Hall, P.W. & Lafontaine, D.J., 1998.  The Butterflies of 
     Canada.  University of Toronto Press, Toronto, ON.  280 pp. 
Opler, P.A. 1998. A field guide to eastern butterflies, revised format.
     Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston.     
Ozark Swallowtail (Papilio joanae)
distribution map
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