Papilio aristodemus, Schaus' Swallowtail

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Papilio aristodemus, Schaus' Swallowtail

A female takes a break from laying eggs in the hammocks of

North Key Largo (Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge)

Papilio aristodemus, Schaus' Swallowtail

Male nectaring on wild coffee(Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Papilio aristodemus, Schaus' Swallowtail

Male nectaring on wild coffee(Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Description: 40-58 mm. Brown on the dorsal side with a yellow band accross the forwing and some yellow spots along the outer margin of forewing and hindwing. Hindwing has a red spot and some blue dusting at the base. Tails are not clubbed and lack the teardrop shaped spot that the giant swallowtail has inside its tail. 

 

Habitat and Distribution: While other subspecies occur elsewhere in the Caribbean, subspecies P. a. ponceanus occurs only in the tropical hardowwd hammocks of the upper Florida Keys. 

 

Host Plant: The primary host plant is torchwood (Amyris elemifera) but will also use "Wild Lime" (Xanthoxylum fagara) in the Keys. We observed a female laying eggs on a wild lime tree in Key Largo in May of 2004

 

Natural History: This is an endangered species as of 1984 when declining populations promted its listing. They used to be common throughout most of the islands of the upper Keys and was reported from southern Dade county as well. This species have long since dissapeared from the mainland. The best time of year to see a Schaus Swallowtail is from late April through the beginning of June. 

 

Papilio aristodemus, Schaus' Swallowtail

Male ignoring the "No Tresspassing" sign (Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge)

Papilio aristodemus, Schaus' Swallowtail
Papilio aristodemus, Schaus' Swallowtail larva
Papilio aristodemus, Schaus' Swallowtail
Papilio aristodemus, Schaus' Swallowtail
Papilio aristodemus, Schaus' Swallowtail egg

Female ovipositing on wild lime (Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge)

Female ovipositing on wild lime (Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge)

Egg layed by ovipositing female in previous pictures

Final instar larva exposing osmoterium

Male ignoring the "No Tresspassing" sign (Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge)

Final instar larva

Habitat for Schaus' Swallowtail in Key Largo

Torchwood - larval host plant

Papilio aristodemus, Schaus' Swallowtail

Male nectaring on wild coffee(Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge

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