Three-tailed Swallowtail (Papilio pilumnus Boisduval)
Wing span: Not reported.
Identification: Upperside of both fore- and hindwings yellow with black basal band. Wings bordered by a black band with submarginal yellow stripe. Hindwing has 3 tails and 2 blue spots above the shortest tail.
Life history: None reported.
Flights: March-October in Mexico.
Caterpillar hosts: Leaves of Litsea tree in Lauraceae family.
Adult food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Tropical woodlands.
Range: Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador; rarely strays into southern Texas.
Conservation: Not required for tropical stray.
Management needs: None noted.
The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G4 - Apparently secure globally, though it might be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Beutelspacher, C. R. 1984. Mariposas de Mexico Fasciculo I. La Prensa Medica Mexicana, S. A. 171 pages, 20 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.