New Jersey Butterfly Club

A chapter of the North American Butterfly Association (NABA)

Palamedes Swallowtail

Papilio palamedes

Identification: Very large—about 4.7". Above: Blackish-brown with broad yellow spot bands—look for the solid yellow band across the HW and the yellow cell-end bar. Below: Striking HW pattern of black, orange, yellow, white, and blue. The very narrow yellow stripe along base of HW, paralleling the abdomen, is distinctive.

NJ Status and Distribution: Nonresident. A southern species that very rarely strays to NJ. Only two recent reports (Cape May Point SP, 9/12/08 and Goshen, Cape May Co., 7/28/13).

Range Map-Palamedes Swallowtail

Habitat: Apparently an inhabitant of swampy woodlands that visits flowers in nearby fields and meadows.

Flight Period: Nonresident. Has 2-3 broods in the southeastern states. Strays would be most likely to reach NJ in summer and fall.

Caterpillar Food Plant: Redbay (Persea borbonica), which does not grow naturally in NJ.

Overwintering Stage: Pupa, but does not overwinter in NJ.

Good Locations: None

Comments: Planting Redbay in gardens in South Jersey to attract this species is a long shot to say the least.

Palamedes Swallowtail

Great Dismal Swamp, VA, 9/8/10.