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Species Papilio rutulus - Western Tiger Swallowtail - Hodges#4177

Butterfly - Papilio rutulus - male Butterfly - Papilio rutulus - female Caterpillar ID, please. - Papilio rutulus Which Caterpillar is this? - Papilio rutulus Western swallowtail pair - Papilio rutulus Western Tiger Swallowtail Larva 1st-3rd Instar - Papilio rutulus Papilio rutulus?  - Papilio rutulus Western Tiger Swallowtail_Papilio rutulus - Papilio rutulus
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Papilionoidea (Butterflies and Skippers)
Family Papilionidae (Swallowtails, Parnassians)
Subfamily Papilioninae
Tribe Papilionini (Fluted Swallowtails)
Genus Papilio
Species rutulus (Western Tiger Swallowtail - Hodges#4177)
Hodges Number
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
First described by Hippolyte Lucas in 1852 as Papilio rutulus
Pterourus rutulus--sometimes this and related species are split out from Papilio.
90-110 mm Wingspan(1)
Very similar to P. glaucus, except ventrally the hind wings lack marginal orange spots.(1)

Larvae very similar to those of Pale Tiger Swallowtail, but black pupil of false eye-spot larger, and yellow spot inside eyespot entirely separated from it, not just notched.
Western North America east to the edge of the Rocky Mountains.(1)
Woodlands and more open areas, often near streams. Also common in cities and suburbs due to the popularity of sycamores in landscaping.
June-July (one flight) in much of range, but much of year (2-4 flights) along Pacific coast.
Adults take nectar.
Life Cycle
Males patrol canyons and hilltops. Larvae feed on foliage of deciduous trees, including cottonwood, birch, elms, willow, alder, sycamore, and aspen (1). They rest in shelters made of silk and curled leaves. Overwinters as pupa (chrysalis).
See Also
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Papilio glaucus
Pale Tiger Swallowtail, Papilio eurymedon
Canadian Tiger Swallowtail, Papilio canadensis
Print References
Arnett & Jacques #206 (1)
Brock and Kaufman, p. 22 (2)
Garth and Tilden, p. 101, plate 1--larva, pupa, 10--adult (3)
Allen, pp. 34-35 #4--photo of caterpillar (4)
Scott, #18--listed as subspecies of Papilio glaucus (5)
Works Cited
1.Simon & Schuster's Guide to Insects
Dr. Ross H. Arnett, Dr. Richard L. Jacques. 1981. Fireside.
2.Butterflies of North America (Kaufman Focus Guides)
Jim P. Brock, Kenn Kaufman. 2003. Houghton Mifflin Co.
3.California Butterflies (California Natural History Guides (Paperback))
John S. Garth, J.W. Tilden. 1988. University of California Press.
4.Caterpillars in the Field and Garden: A Field Guide to the Butterfly Caterpillars of North America
Thomas J. Allen, James P. Brock, Jeffrey Glassberg. 2005. Oxford University Press.
5.The Butterflies of North America: A Natural History and Field Guide
James A. Scott. 1992. Stanford University Press.