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 multicaudata belongs to.
Papilio multicaudata, Moody Plateau, Little Missouri National Grassland, Billings
County, North Dakota, 31 July 2004 Ref
Papilio multicaudata has one of the largest wingspans of the western U.S. butterflies.
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.
Larval hostplants include chokecherry, ash and hoptree. Larvae rest in curled leaves
lined with silk. They have eversible organs called osmeteria that are used to chemically
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