Polydamas Swallowtail

Battus polydamas

Summary 5

The Polydamas Swallowtail (Battus polydamas) is a closely related to the Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor) and both feed on species in the genus Astrolochia which is poisonous and both larva and adult retain these distasteful chemicals in their bodies similar to the Monarch butterfly in which the larva feeds on milkweeds.

Description 6

The wingspan is 90–120 mm without the tail. The upperside of the wings is black with a broad submarginal band formed by large yellow spots. The undersides of the forewings have the same pattern, while the hind wings have a submarginal row of red lunules. The Polydamas Swallowtail is easily distinguished from the Pipevine Swallowtail by the lack of iridescent blue shading on the underside of the hind wing that surrounds the large red spots. The submarginal row of red spots are narrow in the Polydamas Swallowtail and round in the Pipevine Swallowtail.

Larva description 7

Similar to Pipevine Swallowtail. Abdomen black or red with elongate yellow or yellowish-orange pinacula on thorax and abdomen. Pinacula longer on Polydamas and shorter on Pipevine.

Larval host plant 8

Aristolochiaceae: Aristolochia sprucei, Aristolochia sp.

GTM Occurence 7

Battus polydamus is considered rare and has been observed in the open habitat (Transect A) and Red Bay Walk (Transect D). Most observations have been in the Marsh Pond Overlook (Transect B). This species has been observed from May to July. There have been 5 specimens observed as of December 28, 2015.

Distribution 5

It is found in the Neotropic ecozone of North America and South America, and the southernmost parts of the North American Nearctic ecozone in Mexico. In Florida the Polydamas Swallowtail is found throughout the Florida Peninsula from Duval to Monroe Counties. At the GTM B. polydamas is considered rare and has been observed in the open Transect A, along the Red Bay Walk (Transect D), and along the Marsh Pond Overlook (Transect B).

Habitat 5

Battus polydamas is mainly present in open woods and in abandoned fields and areas.

Nature serve conservation status 9

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

Sources and Credits

  1. (c) Gustavo Durán, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA), http://www.flickr.com/photos/67662120@N00/2850546135
  2. (c) DZ Butterflies, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA), https://www.flickr.com/photos/116794569@N03/12445103334/
  3. (c) Detroit Zoo Butterflies, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA), https://www.flickr.com/photos/116794569@N03/12444495533/
  4. (c) Adrián Afonso, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA), https://www.flickr.com/photos/adrian-afonso/5143798171/
  5. Adapted by GTMResearchReserve from a work by (c) Wikipedia, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battus_polydamas
  6. (c) Wikipedia, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battus_polydamas
  7. (c) GTMResearchReserve, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA)
  8. (c) CAPEA, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC), http://eol.org/data_objects/23023179
  9. Adapted by GTMResearchReserve from a work by (c) NatureServe, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC), http://eol.org/data_objects/28748477

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