Mexico, USA & Canada
ROTHSCHILD & JORDAN,
Family - PAPILIONIDAE
Tribe - PAPILIONINI
© Adrian Hoskins
The Papilionidae is
comprised of about 600 known species. They are found throughout the
world in almost every environment including deserts, mountains,
grasslands, tropical rainforests, temperate woodlands, meadows,
marshes and coastal dunes.
There are 3 subfamilies.
The Parnassiinae consists of about 50 species. They are known as
Apollos and breed mainly in mountainous areas of the northern
hemisphere. The Papilioninae comprises of about 550 species
distributed across the world, and includes the Swallowtails and
Dragontails, and the giant Birdwings of south-east Asia. The other
subfamily Baroniinae consists of a single species
Baronia brevicornis which is endemic to
the mountains of western Mexico.
Heraclides comprises of 28 species, and
is the neotropical "sister" genus of the Holarctic
Papilio, to which the European
Swallowtail Papilio machaon, and the
North American Black Swallowtail Papilio
polyxenes belong. Some of the
Heraclides species are marked with cream spots and bands, and
have obvious affinities with their Holarctic counterparts. Others
including anchisiades and the female of
Parides mimics, with pink patches on their hindwings.
astyalus is very similar to androgeus,
but in the latter the creamy crescents on the upperside hindwings
are greatly reduced.
Heraclides astyalus is a very widespread insect whose 6
subspecies are found variously from Texas to Argentina and Paraguay.
This species is found in
many different habitats including rainforest, cloudforest, deciduous
forest, orchards and suburban zones at altitudes between sea level
and about 1200m.
To be completed.
butterflies are only active in bright sunshine. Both sexes visit
Lantana flowers. Males are more commonly
mud-puddling on river beaches and at the edges of streams and pools.
They are usually seen singly, often amidst aggregations of Pierids.
feeding either at flowers or on the ground, the wings are kept
constantly fluttering - a feature common to Swallowtails throughout
the world. After several minutes, if undisturbed, they eventually
relax and fully outspread their wings.