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Species Papilio eurymedon - Pale Tiger Swallowtail - Hodges#4179

Pale Tiger Swallowtail - Papilio eurymedon - female Papilio eurymedon feeding on snowberry - Papilio eurymedon Unknown Swallowtail - Papilio eurymedon Butterfly - Papilio eurymedon Swallowtail Mt. Pinos, CA - Papilio eurymedon possible Pale Swallowtail - Papilio eurymedon Swallowtail - rutulus or eurymedon? - Papilio eurymedon Papilio eurymedon
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 eurymedon (Pale Tiger Swallowtail - Hodges#4179)
Hodges Number
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.
Wingspan 64-90 mm
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.
Life Cycle
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.
See Also
Western Tiger Swallowtail, Papilio rutulus
Print References
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)
Works Cited
1.Butterflies of North America (Kaufman Focus Guides)
Jim P. Brock, Kenn Kaufman. 2003. Houghton Mifflin Co.
2.California Butterflies (California Natural History Guides (Paperback))
John S. Garth, J.W. Tilden. 1988. University of California Press.
3.The Butterflies of North America: A Natural History and Field Guide
James A. Scott. 1992. Stanford University 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.