Common Names in English:
Pipevine Swallowtail, Pipe-Vine Swallowtail, Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly
'The Papilionidae belong to the Superfamily
Papilionoidea, the true butterflies. Swallowtails are worldwide in distribution and comprise approximately 560 species. They are richest in the tropics, and their brilliant colors make them favorites of butterfly enthusiasts. Many swallowtail species, especially in the tropics, mimic
other butterflies that are distasteful, while others are distasteful and cause birds and other vertebrate
to regurgitate. Swallowtail adults
are medium to large and may or may not have tails, while parnassian adults are medium, tailless, and have translucent
. All adult parnassians and swallowtails have three pairs of walking legs
, and adults of all species visit flowers for nectar.
Swallowtails are members of the Family Papilionidae. They comprise about 560 species, have a worldwide distribution, and are richest in the tropics. Many are brilliantly colored and are favorites of butterfly enthusiasts. Many species, especially those in the tropics, mimic other butterflies that are distasteful, while others are distasteful and cause birds and other vertebrate predators to regurgitate. Adults are medium to large, may or may not have tails, and have three pairs of walking legs . Adults of all species visit flowers for nectar. Males of most species patrol for mates, while males of one group (Black, Old World, Anise, and Indra Swallowtails) perch on hilltops or ridges instead of patrolling . Swallowtails lay globular eggs and overwinter as pupae. Some species spend more than one year in the pupal stage, likely to survive drought years when little caterpillar food is available. In arid areas, the Black, Anise, and Indra Swallowtails often display this strategy.
Species Battus philenor
Upper surface of hindwing iridescent blue or blue-green. Underside of hindwing with submarginal row of 7 round orange spots in iridescent blue field . (ref. 105138)
Upper surface of hindwing iridescent blue or blue-green. Underside of hindwing with submarginal row of 7 round orange spots in iridescent blue field .
Wing span : 2 3/4 - 5 inches (7 - 13 cm).
A wide variety of open habitats
, open woodland, and woodland edges
Typically along woodland borders , powerline clearings, roads, or wide trails through hardwoods or mixed woods . Usually seen not too far from deciduous woods, but it may occasionally be seen in weedy fields and brushy areas. Not often seen in the shade of forests , though the foodplants are forest interior species. Occasionally seen in gardens and urban areas. (ref. 104632)
Caterpillar hosts: Pipevines (Aristolochia species), including Aristolochia
californica, A. serpentaria and others. Adult
nectar from flowers including thistles (Cirsium species), bergamot,
lilac, viper's bugloss, common azaleas, phlox, teasel, azaleas, dame's-rocket,
lantana, petunias, verbenas, lupines, yellow star thistle, California
buckeye, yerba santa, brodiaeas, and gilias.
Native food plants are restricted apparently to Dutchman's pipe (Aristolochia durior) and Virginia snakeroot (A. serpentaria), but the species also uses exotic species of Aristolochia planted in gardens. Adults use a wide variety of flowers for nectaring; when nectaring they flutter their wings constantly, seldom remaining still for a good photograph. (ref. 104632)
Adult males patrol likely habitat in search of receptive females. Females lay batches of eggs on underside of host plant leaves. Caterpillars feed in small groups when young but become solitary when older. Wintering is by the chrysalis .
Flight: In the East and California, adults
fly primarily in late
and summer, but the butterfly is commoner in late summer and
in the South and Southwest. Where lack of freezing temperatures
, adults may fly continuously. In lowland tropical
may be found in any month.
Flight period: Late March to late October. Probably three broods, but some references suggest that there are just two broods in our area. Downstate generally from late March to late May, early June to late August, and a small brood in September and October. In the mountains, mid-April to mid-June, late June to late August, and in September and October. As with nearly all swallowtails, the gaps between flight periods are so small that the broods are overlapping. (ref. 104632)
- Whittaker & Margulis,1978
- C. Linnaeus, 1758
- (Hatschek, 1888) Cavalier-Smith, 1983
- Grobben, 1908
- A.M.A. Aguinaldo et al., 1997 ex T. Cavalier-Smith, 1998
- Latreille, 1829
- Snodgrass, 1938
- Heymons, 1901
- Order: Lepidoptera () - Linnaeus, 1758 - Butterflies and Moths
- Cohort: Myoglossata ()
- Infraclass: Pterygota ()
- Subclass: Dicondylia ()
- Epiclass: Hexapoda ()
- Superclass: Panhexapoda ()
- Infraphylum: Atelocerata () - Heymons, 1901
- Subphylum: Mandibulata () - Snodgrass, 1938
- Phylum: Arthropoda () - Latreille, 1829 - Arthropods
- Superphylum: Panarthropoda () - Cuvier
- Infrakingdom: Ecdysozoa () - A.M.A. Aguinaldo et al., 1997 ex T. Cavalier-Smith, 1998
- Branch: Protostomia () - Grobben, 1908
- Subkingdom: Bilateria () - (Hatschek, 1888) Cavalier-Smith, 1983
- Kingdom: Animalia () - C. Linnaeus, 1758 - animals
Status: Accepted Name
Comment: LT ([f], J. C. Fabricius leg .)
Last scrutiny: 24-Jun-2006
Distinguished from other dark swallowtails by mostly dark forewing, single row of orange spots on underhindwing, and lack of orange spot on dorsal hindwing.
Members of the genus Battus
ZipcodeZoo has pages for 10 species and subspecies in this genus:
B. belus varus (Varus Swallowtail) · B. chalceus (Chalceus Swallowtail) · B. crassus (Crassus Swallowtail) · B. lycidas (Yellow-Trailed Swallowtail) · B. philenor (Pipevine Swallowtail) · B. polydamas (Gold Rim Swallowtail) · B. polydamas lucayus (Tailless Swallowtail) · B. polydamas polydamas (Gold-Rim Swallowtail) · B. polydamus (Polydamus Swallowtail) · B. zetides (Zetides Swallowtail)
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- Annotated checklist of the butterflies of Illinois [by] Roderick R. Irwin [and] John C. Downey. Urbana, Illinois Natural History Survey, 1973. url p. 14, p. 49.
- Bibliography (Lepidoptera: Rhopalocera) / Charles A. Bridges. Urbana, Ill.: C.A. Bridges, c1993. url p. 143, p. 74.
- Bulletin - United States National Museum. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, [etc.];1877-1971. url p. 598, p. 87.
- Catalogue of Papilionidae & Pieridae (Lepidoptera, Rhopalocera) / Charles A. Bridges. Urbana, Ill: C.A. Bridges, 1988. url p. 17.
- Cooperative economic insect report. Hyattsville, MD. [etc.]Plant Protection and Quarantine Programs Animal and Plant Health Service. url p. 1151, p. 801, p. 804.
- Entomological news. [Philadelphia]American Entomological Society, 1925- url p. 158, p. 34, p. 65, p. 96.
- Introduction to evolution. New York, Harper url p. 371, p. 374, p. 529.
- Journal of Hymenoptera research. Washington, D.C.: International Society of Hymenopterists, [1992- url , p. 210, p. 212.
- Journal of the Kentucky Academy of Science. Lexington, KY: The Academy, 1998- url p. 175, p. 175, p. 86.
- Lectures in biological science, presented by Norman G. Anderson [and others] A symposium held December 3-5, 1959, sponsored jointly by the University of Tennessee Chapter of Sigma Xi and the Biology Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Knoxville, University of Tennessee Press, 1963. url p. 61.
- List of intercepted plant pests / United States Department of Agriculture, Plant Quarantine and Control Administration. [Washington, D.C.: U.S. G.P.O.], 1932- url p. 48, p. 55.
- Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington. Washington, etc.: Entomological Society of Washington url p. 634, p. 636.
- The Entomologist's record and journal of variation. s.l., s.n. url p. 110, p. 166, p. 76.
- The Great Basin naturalist. 59 1999 Provo, Utah: M.L. Bean Life Science Museum, Brigham Young University, 1939-1999. url p. 59.
- The University of Kansas science bulletin. 39 1958 [Lawrence]: University of Kansas, 1902-1996. url p. 311.
- The process of evolution [by] Paul R. Ehrlich [and] Richard W. Holm. Illustrated by Anne H. Ehrlich. New York, McGraw-Hill url p. 232, p. 334, p. 87.
- Threatened Swallowtail Butterflies of the World: the IUCN Red Data Book IUCN url p. 65.
- Tulane studies in zoology. 6 1958 New Orleans: Tulane University, 1953-1968. url p. 71, p. 86.
- Brands, S.J. (comp.) 1989-present. The Taxonomicon. Universal Taxonomic Services, Zwaag, The Netherlands. Accessed January 9, 2012.
Accessed through GBIF Data Portal December 05, 2007:
- Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility, Alan Wormington Collection
- Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility, Canadian National Collection
- of Insects, Arachnids and Nematodes
- Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility, Great Lakes Forestry Centre Insect Collection
- Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility, McMaster University Collection
- Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility, Point Pelee National Park Collection, Canada
- Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility, Royal Ontario Museum: Entomology
- Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility, University of Guelph, Department of Environmental Biology
- Illinois Natural History Survey, Illinois Natural History Survey
- Biodiversity Heritage Library NamebankID: 2603206
- Catalogue of Life Accepted Name Code: Gar-377
- Global Biodiversity Information Facility Taxonkey: 14710410
- Natural Heritage Network Species Identifier: IILEP92010
- Zipcode Zoo Species Identifier: 16118
- http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/taxonomy?f=14&sci=Papilionidae&com=Parnassians and Swallowtails [back]