Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Species Battus polydamas - Polydamas Swallowtail - Hodges#4158

Polydamas Swallowtail - Battus polydamas - male - female Polydamas Swallowtail - Battus polydamas Polydamas - Battus polydamas Male or Female Polydamas - Battus polydamas Polydamas caterpillar - Battus polydamas Polydamus - Battus polydamas - female Polydamas Swallowtail larva and eggs with dew - Battus polydamas What is this? It came off my neighbors
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Classification
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 Troidini (Birdwings, Cattlehearts and Aristolochia Swallowtails)
Genus Battus
Species polydamas (Polydamas Swallowtail - Hodges#4158)
Hodges Number
4158
Other Common Names
Gold-rim Swallowtail
Numbers
This is a polymorphic taxon represented in the USA by two subspecies.
"Western Group" is representative of Battus polydamas polydamas found in Texas, Central America and much of South America.
"Eastern Group" is represented by Battus polydamas lucayus found in Florida & the Bahamas.
There may be occasional gene flow across the Gulf States, however, the populations seem to retain identity.
Size
Wing span: 3 1/2 - 4 1/2 inches (9 - 12 cm).(1)
Identification
Lacks tails. Black above with submarginal yellow band.(1)
Larva somewhat similar to Pipevine Swallowtail, but spines are orange and body marked with stripes
Range
s TX, peninsular FL / W. Indies / south to Argentina. Strays north to Kentucky and Missouri - Map (1)(MPG)
Habitat
Open woods, abandoned fields, disturbed areas.(1)
Season
Two-3 flights from April-November.(1)
Food
Caterpillar hosts: Pipevines (Aristolochia species).
Adult food: Nectar of lantana. Occasionally seen feeding on honeysuckle and soapweed flowers.(1)
Life Cycle
Female lays eggs in groups of 10-14 on exposed new stems or growing tips of vines. Caterpillars feed in groups when young. Overwinter as chrysalids.(1)
See Also
Pipevine Swallowtail (larva) is somewhat similar in shape and coloration, especially in earlier instars. Both feed on Aristolochia spp.