Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

  Sighting 1341017

Black Swallowtail
Papilio polyxenes

Observation date: August 11, 2022
Submitted by: Patricia Mann 7
Specimen type: Photograph
Observation notes: An experienced butterfly expert in New Mexico has helped me to identify this butterfly as a Female Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes form pseudoamericus) ex pupa. I am also seeking an an additional ID via BAMONA and am documenting the sighting. It was found as a Black Swallowtail caterpillar south of Santa Fe in Santa Fe Co., NM in September, 2021 and eclosed on August 11, 2022 after overwintering 11 months in chrysalis in a butterfly enclosure. Note: We believe this butterfly is a female as abdomen is yellow and has no claspers as a male BS would have. Hind-wings have more yellow and different markings than a female Black Swallowtail would have, appearing more like a male but is believed to be a female of form pseudoamericus. This Swallowtail eclosed on the morning of August 11, 2022 just before 8 am. It had been a caterpillar in my organic vegetable and herb garden on the host plant dill along with other Black Swallowtail caterpillars that were feeding on both parsley and dill. It was placed in a butterfly enclosure in September, 2021 at the 5th instar stage and quickly went into chrysalis, overwintering for 11 months in its enclosure. It was surprising to find this yellow form of Black Swallowtail along with the more commonly found Black Swallowtails with black abdomens usually in my garden. It was released from its enclosure, after 2-3 hours drying its wings, into the garden and approximately 1 hour later flew away. It was a sunny, clear day with gentle breezes. Photos by Patricia Mann
Status: Resident
Verified by: stevecary
Verified date: August 28, 2022
Coordinator notes: Patty, thank you for getting this very unusual insect into the BAMONA database. We don't have a way to formally declare this to be form pseudoamericus, but your description and images, as well as this acceptance, will place it on file for any interested parties.
Checklist region(s): United States, New Mexico, Santa Fe County