Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Polydamas Swallowtail
Battus polydamas (Linnaeus, 1758)

Family: Papilionidae
Subfamily: Papilioninae
Identification: Lacks tails. Black above with submarginal yellow band.
Wing Span: 3 1/2 - 4 1/2 inches (9 - 12 cm).
Life History: Female lays eggs in groups of 10-14 on exposed new stems or growing tips of vines. Caterpillars feed in groups when young. Overwinter as chrysalids.
Flight: Two-3 flights from April-November.
Caterpillar Hosts: Pipevines (Aristolochia species).
Adult Food: Nectar of lantana. Occasionally seen feeding on honeysuckle and soapweed flowers.
Habitat: Open woods, abandoned fields, disturbed areas.
Range: South Texas and peninsular Florida south to Argentina. Strays north to Kentucky and Missouri.
Conservation: None noted.
NCGR: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management Needs: Manage habitat for caterpillar host plant and nectar sources.