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 and includes the fluted
swallowtails in which Papilio glaucus belongs to.
Papilio glaucus has one of the largest wingspans of any butterfly found in the United
States. It is found throughout the eastern half of the U.S. in a variety of habitats
that have deciduous trees. It avidly collects nectar and is a common garden visitor.
Males can also be found in numbers imbibing minerals from the edges of lakes, rivers,
and puddles on gravel roads. Females come in two morphs, yellow with black tiger
stripes and a dark morph. The dark morph is a Batesian mimic of the Pipevine Swallowtail,
Larval hostplants include many trees and shrubs. Some of the more common are cherry,
cottonwood, tuliptree, sweet bay, and others. Immature larvae look like a bird dropping.
Mature larvae resemble a snake. Larvae have eversible organs called osmeteria that
are used to chemically deter predators.
All photographs, artwork, text and website design are the property of The Butterflies
of the World Foundation (unless otherwise stated) and are protected under national
and international copyright laws. Photographs, artwork or text on this website may
not be reproduced in any way without prior written consent of The Butterflies of
the World Foundation.