Other Common Names
Pallid Tiger Swallowtail, Pale Swallowtail
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
First described in 1805 by Edward Donovan
as Papilio antinous
in a book on insects of New Holland (modern-day Australia), under the mistaken impression that the type specimen was from New South Wales.
In 1852 it was described by Hippolyte Lucas
as Papilio eurymedon
. Normally the older name would be the official one, but that name had been overlooked and was not in use for the species, so it was declared a nomen oblitum
and the better-known name published by Lucas was kept.
Pterourus eurymedon--sometimes this and related species are split out from Papilio
Explanation of Names
Greek Eurymedon (Ευρυμεδων) literally means "widely ruling" and is the name of several Greek historical and mythological figures, as well as a river in Asia Minor which was the site of a couple of major battles. Lucas' original description doesn't say which of these (if any) the species was named for.
Upper surface of wings is a creamy white, not yellow. Black stripes and wing-border thick. Forewing very pointed. Tail of hindwing is long, twisted. The only black-and-white swallowtail in the west.
Larvae are similar to Western Swallowtail. See here
for David Ferguson's description of the differences: the black "pupil" in the eye spot is smaller than on the Western Tiger, and the yellow spot isn't divided into two spots above the eye spot, just notched at the side.
Western North America: British Columbia south to southern California, east to Montana, in mountains south to New Mexico.
Varied: foothills, open woodlands, chaparral, streamsides, but not high mountains.
April-July (one flight in northern part of range). March-August (several flights in southern Califorina).
Adults take nectar, and also (males only?) take fluids from damp sand, mud.
Larvae feed on foliage of woody plants in several families: Rosaceae (cherry, e.g., Prunus emarginata, Holly-leaved Cherry, Prunus ilicifolia), Rhamnaceae (California Coffee-berry, Rhamnus californica, Ceanothus spp.), Oleaceae (ash, Fraxinus) and Betulaceae. Overwinters as pupa, adults emerge in spring. Males seek hilltops for mating.
Brock and Kaufman, p. 24 (1)
Garth and Tilden, p. 102, plate 10a (2)
Scott, #19, plate 7, fig. 34--ultraviolet pattern, fig. 52--pupa (3)
Allen, pp. 34-35, #7--photo of caterpillar (4)