North American Butterflies and Moths List

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U.S. Geological Survey

Butterflies of North America

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

Ornythion Swallowtail (Papilio ornythion)
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