Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Schaus' Swallowtail
Papilio aristodemus Esper, 1794

Family: Papilionidae
Subfamily: Papilioninae
Identification: Upperside of forewing has narrow central yellow band. Tails edged with yellow, filled with black.
Wing Span: 3 5/8 - 4 5/8 inches (9.2 - 11.8 cm)
Life History: Males patrol in tree canopy for receptive females. Females lay single eggs on top of young host plant leaves. Caterpillars feed on young leaves and shoots. Hibernate as chrysalids, which can remain dormant for up to 2 years. Adult emergence is triggered by rainfall.
Flight: Primary flight from late April to mid-June; some adults fly in late July and early September.
Caterpillar Hosts: Plants in the citrus family (Rutaceae) including Citrus species, hop tree (Ptelea trifoliata), Zanthoxylum spp., and torchwood (Amyris elemifera).
Adult Food: Nectar from flowers of cheese-shrub, wild coffee, and guava.
Habitat: Found only in tropical hardwood hammocks and neighboring scrub areas.
Range: North Key Largo and the larger Keys in Biscayne National Monument (subspecies ponceanus), south to the Greater Antilles (other subspecies).
Conservation: Listed in 1984 as Endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under the Endangered Species Act.
NCGR: Subspecies ponceanus has The Nature Conservancy Global Rank of T1 - Critically imperiled globally because of extreme rarity (5 or fewer occurrences, or very few remaining individuals), or because of some factor of its biology making it especially vulnerable to extinction. (Critically endangered throughout its range). The species as a whole has The Nature Conservancy Global Rank
Management Needs: For subspecies ponceanus, maintain hardwood hammocks on upper keys, prevent mosquito fogging, and reintroduce to vacant habitats.
Comments: NULL