Polydamas Swallowtail

Battus polydamas

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The Polydamas swallowtail is the only US swallowtail without tails.  Females are typically larger than males.  They fly in Tampa Bay area gardens all year round.  They like to lay their eggs on the newer, younger growth of the pipevine, which makes  survival easier when the larvae hatch and eat the tender leaves and tender stems.

Scientific names of the Pipevines include Aristolochia macrophylla, Aristolochia Littoralis, and Aristolochia gigantea.  Aristolochia elegans is not recommended as a host plant as the larvae from the Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor) cannot survive on it.   The young caterpillars stay together in their early stages and become more independaent as they mature.  Favorite nectar plants include Pentas and Lantana.

 

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