North American Butterflies and Moths List

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U.S. Geological Survey

Butterflies of North America

Butterflies of Northern Mexico

Ornythion Swallowtail (Papilio ornythion)
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Ornythion Swallowtail (Papilio ornythion Boisduval)

Wing span: 3 1/4 - 4 1/2 inches (8.3 - 11.5 cm).

Identification: Upper forewing spots are yellow-white; marginal row of spots is close to outer edge of wing. Tails are wide and all black. Female has 2 forms: one resembles the male and one is mostly black with a marginal row of large gray-green spots on upperside of hindwing.

Life history: Not reported.

Flight: Probably 2 from April-September.

Caterpillar hosts: Leaves of citrus trees (Rutaceae family).

Adult food: Flower nectar.

Habitat: Citrus groves and gardens.

Range: Mexico and Guatemala. Occasional in central and south Texas and New Mexico; rare in southern Arizona and Kansas.

Conservation: Not noted.

Management needs: None required for occasional colonist from tropics.

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 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, 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.
Ornythion Swallowtail (Papilio ornythion)
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