Old World Swallowtail Butterfly (Papilio machaon)

Pricing: Dead (spread, as pictured): $45
Geographic Range: Holarctic
View: Top View
Size: Wingspan: 6.5 - 7.5 cm


Image Copyright 2003
Barbara Strnadova

Papilio machaon is known as the Common Swallowtail because it's range is Holarctic. It is found throughout Europe, south into North Africa and west across northern Asia and North America. It is frequently encountered at great altitudes as high as 15,000 ft. In North America it tends to restrict its range to mountain and boreal regions and is therefore uncommon in the U.S.A. In the U.S.A. it is only found west of the high plains, where it is best observed in mountain meadows. The adults feed on nectar and the larvae on a variety of plants in the family Umbelliferae. There is one generation of caterpillars during the summer in the northern parts of its range and two generations in the south. Across its range, many different subspecies of Papilio machaon have been described: P. m. machaon from Central Europe, P. m. gorganus from Southern Europe, the Urals and Caucasus Major, P. m. melitensis from Malta, P. m. britannicus from Britain, P. m. lapponica from Northern Europe, P. m. mauretanica from N.Africa, P. m. syriacus from Caucasus Minor, Armenia, Talysh Mts, P. m. weidenhofferi from Kopet-Dagh, P. m. centralis from Turan, W.Tian-Shan, Ghissar, Darvaz, Alai, and W.Pamirs, P. m. ladakensis from E.Pamirs, P. m. verityi from N.Burma, Shan States, P. m. kiyonobu from Tibet, P. m. venchuanus and P. m. neochinensis from China, P. m. verityi from N.Burma, Shan States, P. m. annae, P. m. sikkimensis, P. m. asiaticus, P. m. baijangensis and P. m. sylvinus from China, P. m. hippocrates from Japan (pictured), P. m. oreinus from Tian-Shan, P. m. orientis from Altai, Sayan, Transbaikalia, Amur (north), to the Far East, P. m. ussuriensis from Amur (south), N/C.Ussuri, P. m. schapiroi from S.Ussuri, P. m. sachalinensis from Sakhalin, P. m. septentrionalis (=chishimana) from the Kurile Islands, P. m. kamtschadalus from Kamchatka, P. m. aliaska from Chukot Peninsula, Alaska - N.British Columbia, P. m. hudsonianus from Alberta - Quebec, S.British Columbia - Oregon, Idaho, P. m. oregonius from the lower Columbia River near the Dalles, P. m. pikei from the Peace River and Kleskun Hills badlands, P. m. brucei from Alberta, Saskatchewan to Nebraska, Utah and P. m. bairdii from Nevada to Kansas.