Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Thoas Swallowtail
Papilio thoas Linnaeus, 1771

Family: Papilionidae
Subfamily: Papilioninae
Identification: Upperside of forewing has diagonal yellow band of square spots in a neat row.
Wing Span: 4 1/8 - 5 inches (10.5 - 12.8 cm).
Life History: Caterpillars resemble bird droppings and rest exposed on leaves.
Flight: Year-round in the tropics, April-July in south Texas.
Caterpillar Hosts: Plants in the citrus family (Rutaceae) including Citrus spp., prickly ash (Zanthoxylum americanum), hop tree (Ptelea trifoliata); six species in the Piperaceae family.
Adult Food: Flower nectar, including lantana, cesalpina, and bougainvilla.
Habitat: Mid-elevation tropical forests and lowland edges.
Range: South Texas south to Brazil. Very rare stray into Kansas and Oklahoma.
Conservation: Not needed in the United States.
NCGR: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management Needs: None in the United States.
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