Synonym(s): Pterourus palamedes
A large dark swallowtail butterfly found in flatwoods and hammocks throughout most of Florida except the keys. The range extends mainly throughout the southeastern coastal states from Texas to Virginia, less frequently into New Jersey and the lower midwest.
Host plants for the palamedes swallowtail include members of the Laurel family, with the red bay a favorite. These butterflies are the primary pollinator of the pine lily.
Adult butterflies are very dark brown, appearing black, with broken yellow bands or rows of spots on the wings, There is usually a small yellow spot toward the front middle of the forewing. A narrow yellow line parallels the body on the underside of the hindwing.
Caterpillars start out brown and white with an eyespot on the thorax and an all-white rear end. Mature caterpillars are stout, green above and reddish below with a yellow line in between. A pair of eyespots and a pair of small orange spots are on the thorax with rows of tiny small blue spots on the abdomen of the caterpillar. The osmeterium is bright yellow.
Papilio palamedes is a member of the Papilionidae - Swallowtails family.
Other species of the Papilio genus in the Wild Florida Photo database:
Papilio cresphontes - GIANT SWALLOWTAIL
Papilio glaucus var. australis - FLORIDA TIGER SWALLOWTAIL
Papilio glaucus - EASTERN TIGER SWALLOWTAIL
Papilio polyxenes var. asterius - BLACK SWALLOWTAIL
Papilio troilus - SPICEBUSH SWALLOWTAIL
For more information on this species, visit the following link:
University of Florida IFAS page for this species
Date record last modified: Jan 24, 2020