Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

  Sighting 1157257

Old World Swallowtail
Papilio machaon

Observation date: May 08, 2018
Submitted by: elwayforever7
Specimen type: Photograph
Observation notes: Captured 5/8/18 on a hike due to someone telling me they had seen black swallowtails. I was hoping for P. indra, but it turned out to be a colony of Papilio machaon bairdii (brucei?). Black form and yellow form were found. Measures 65mm with wings spread, about 53mm tall. I captured two black form, both with pretty heavy flight damage. There were a handful of dark form that were A1, but they were much too fast to catch. Second picture yellow form specimen was captured at the same spot, within a few minutes. I caught 20+ yellow form that were confirmed as P. machaon bairdii. All that were caught were male. Found at these coordinates, 40°17'59.8"N 111°57'28.4"W which is East of Eagle Mountain, UT, at the top of the mountain at app. 6900 ft.
Status: Resident
Verified by: RaisingButterfl...
Verified date: December 13, 2022
Coordinator notes: Yellow form definitely is Papilio bairdi form "brucei". The dark form really looks like Papilio zelicaon nitra form "nitra" to me which is counterintuitive since you already found a large colony of P. bairdi and the dark form of P. zelicaon if extremely and incredibly rare whereas the black form of P. bairdi comprises about 20 percent of the population in Northern Utah where the rest is "brucei". (I've only taken one black zelicaon in the state having studied butterflies in Utah for 35 years.) Was the dark male as large as the brucei adult? Nice find! You mentioned P. indra. Check out Blacksmith Fork Canyon around May 15 to look for P. indra in Utah. Males fly along the canyon floor to puddle with P. zelicaon. Check out 41.630331 -111.719287 and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5-cvRG9TQo
Checklist region(s): United States, Utah, Utah County