Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

  Sighting 1273759

Western Giant Swallowtail
Papilio rumiko

Observation date: September 06, 2020
Submitted by: Mary Lowenbach
Specimen type: Photograph
Observation notes: The butterfly was found in my backyard in Winnetka, California on the hottest day ever recorded here of 121degrees. Unfortunately it was deceased. Throughout the spring and summer I have seen several varieties in my yard. Several large yellow swallowtails and perhaps a few of these. According to your files these are quite rare in Southern California and I am curious to know if you’ve had other sightings. The wingspan is about 5 inches.
Status: Resident
Verified by: Ken Davenport
Verified date: September 09, 2020
Coordinator notes: This is actually the newly described Papilio rumiko, a sibling species of the Giant Swallowtail, not yet recognized by BAMONA. The Thoas Swallowtail is unknown in California, all known claims so far have been misidentification. The yellow bands in thoas are straight, not jagged as yours is. The Western Giant Swallowtail (rumiko) is now common in your area, but unknown in the state until 1963.-Ken Davenport