Species Page: Old World Swallowtail (Papilio machaon)

Old World Swallowtail

Papilio machaon (Linnaeus, 1758)

Family: Papilionidae

Status: Uncommon/rare resident

NENHP Ranking: S3, Tier 2

Range: Various subspecies and forms of Papilio machaon are found from Alaska south into most of Arizona and New Mexico, and in southern Canada east into Quebec. In Nebraska a yellow form ranges from the panhandle southeast through the loess hills of the south central counties.

Larval Hostplant(s): Silky Wormwood (Artemesia dracunculus) is the primary hostplant although it has also been reared from larvae found on Musineon tenuifolium at Scotts Bluff National Monument.

Broods/Flight Times: At least two broods. It has been found here from mid-April to mid-September.

Overwintering: As pupae.

Habitat: This swallowtail restricts itself to rugged country, with females preferring to lay eggs on plants on or atop steep hills or cliffs. In doing so it has also utilized some manmade habitats such as canal banks and road cuts.

Avg. Wingspan:  2 1/2 – 3 inches

Found at: Box Elder and Wapiti SWMAs, Gallagher Canyon SRA, Scotts Bluff National Monument, Wildcat Hills SRA, Harlan County Reservoir.

Similar Species: Anise Swallowtail

Notes: Our populations are somewhere between subspecies Papilio machaon dodi McDunnough, 1939 and Papilio machaon bairdii W. H. Edwards, 1866, but seem to be more closely resembling dodi.