North American Butterflies and Moths List

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The Registry of Nature Habitats

U.S. Geological Survey

Butterflies of North America

Victorine Swallowtail (Papilio victorinus)

Victorine Swallowtail (Papilio victorinus Doubleday)

Wing span: 3 3/4 - 4 3/8 inches (9.5 - 11 cm).

Identification: Wings mostly black; no tails on hindwings. Underside of male hindwing with marginal and postmedian bands of red spots. Two female forms: one resembles male, the other has wide green band on upper hindwing.

Life history: Eggs are laid singly; caterpillars resemble bird droppings. Chrysalids overwinter and look like a piece of wood.

Flight: Several flights from January-November.

Caterpillar hosts: Avocado tree (Persea americana).

Adult food: Flower nectar including Lantana and Impatiens.

Habitat: Mid-elevation moist-wet tropical forests.

Range: El Salvador north into Mexico. An infrequent stray into south Texas.

Conservation: Not required for tropical stray.

Management needs: None reported.

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. LaPrensa Medica
     Mexicana, S. A. 171 pages, 20 color plates.

DeVries, P. J. 1987. The butterflies of Costa Rica and their natural history.
     Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey. 327 pages, 50 color

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

Victorine Swallowtail (Papilio victorinus)
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