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There are about 600 species within the family Papilionidae. The family is made up
of 3 subfamilies, the Parnassiinae, which has about 50 species of Parnassians and
Apollos that are found mostly in the montane regions of the nothern hemisphere, the
Baroniinae, which has only 1 species, Baronia brevicomis from western Mexico, and
the Papilioninae, which has about 550 species found worldwide. The subfamily Papilioninae
is further divided into 4 tribes, the Teinopalpini, which include 2 species from
the Himalayas, the Troidini, which has about 130 worldwide species including the
birdwings, the Leptocircini, which has about 140 species and includes kite Swallowtails,
and the Papilionini, which has over 200 worldwide species. Eurytides marcellus belongs
to the tribe Leptocircini.
Eurytides marcellus is an instantly recognizable butterfly found in the southeastern
forth of the U.S. It can be very common and it avidly collects nectar from many
flowers. Males can also be found in numbers imbibing minerals from the edges of
lakes, rivers, and puddles on gravel roads. Look for it in moist woodlands, fields
with nectar near woodlands and brushy areas. It can also show up in gardens.
Larval hostplants are shrubs of the genus Asimina (pawpaw) in the Annonaceae family.
Young plants are preferred. Males fly in the understory near host plants to find
females. Females lay single green eggs on lower leaves of host plant. Caterpillars
live and feed on the underside of these leaves, then pupate and hibernate there.