Butterflies at Home

Palamedes Swallowtail

Palamedes Swallowtail Butterfly Coloration, Characteristics and Size

The Palamedes Swallowtail (Papilio palamedes) is a large black, brightly marked butterfly.

Both sexes are similarly marked, with rounded brownish black wings rimmed with yellow spots and crossed by another broad V-shaped yellow band. The underside of the wing has an orange stripe parallel with the body. It is similar to the Spicebush Swallowtail and Black Swallowtail but wing patterns are somewhat different.

Its wingspan is in the 3.5"- 5.5" range.

Distribution and Habitat

This butterfly is a common visitor to moist wooded areas and swamps, and will roost communally in oaks and palmetto trees.

It is found along the Gulf coast from Texas to Florida, and up the Atlantic coast thru the Carolinas.

Nectar and Host Plants Used by the Palamedes Swallowtail

Favorite nectar plants of the Palamedes Swallowtail include sweet pepperbush, thistles, blue flag, azalea, pentas, and verbena.

Among its hosts are plants of the Laurel family, especially Red Bay.

Palamedes Swallowtail Life Cycle Stages and Times

Stage Typical Duration
Egg stage Generally 4 to 10 days, depending on temperature and host plant
Caterpillar (larval) stage 3 to 4 weeks
Chrysalis (pupal) stage 10 to 20 days (except for overwintering pupae)
Adult butterfly stage 6 to 14 days


Photos of Palamedes Swallowtail Butterflies

Palamedes Swallowtail Butterfly
Palamedes Swallowtail Butterfly
By the author - ButterfliesAtHome.com

Palamedes Swallowtail Butterfly
Two-Tailed Swallowtail Butterfly
By Candice Martino (Own work) at Flickr via Creative Commons

Palamedes Swallowtail Butterfly
Palamedes Swallowtail Butterfly
By Gloria T.

Red Bay Tree
Red Bay Tree in Texas