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Common Swallowtails

Papilio
Papilio
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Summary

Papilio is a genus in the swallowtail butterfly family, Papilionidae, as well as the only representative of the tribe Papilionini. The word papilio is Latin for butterfly. It includes the common yellow swallowtail (Papilio machaon), which is widespread in the Northern Hemisphere and the type species of the genus, as well as a number of other well-known North American species such as the western tiger swallowtail (Papilio rutulus). Familiar species elsewhere in the world include the Mormons (Papilio polytes, Papilio polymnestor, Papilio memnon, and Papilio deiphobus) in Asia, the orchard and Ulysses swallowtails in Australia (Papilio aegeus, Papilio ulysses, respectively) and the citrus swallowtail of Africa (Papilio demodocus). Older classifications of the swallowtails tended to use many rather small genera. More recent classifications have been more conservative, and as a result a number of former genera are now absorbed within Papilio, such as Achillides, Eleppone, Druryia, Heraclides (giant swallowtails), Menelaides, Princeps, Pterourus (tiger swallowtails), and Sinoprinceps. The genus as recognized by modern systems has about 200 members. The genus Chilasa is regarded as a subgenus of Papilio by some workers, as are the baggy-tailed swallowtails (Agehana), although the latter taxon is usually considered a subgenus of Chilasa. Many of the larvae resemble bird droppings during a development stage. Adults are edible to birds and some species are mimics.

Common Swallowtails

Papilio

Scientific classification

kingdom: Animalia
phylum: Arthropoda
class: Insecta
order: Lepidoptera
family: Papilionidae

Species

Papilio rutulus

Western Tiger Swallowtail

Papilio rutulus

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Papilio cresphontes

Giant Swallowtail

Papilio cresphontes

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Papilio zelicaon

Anise Swallowtail

Papilio zelicaon

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Papilio eurymedon

Pale Swallowtail

Papilio eurymedon

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Papilio machaon

Old World Swallowtail

Papilio machaon

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Papilio canadensis

Canadian Tiger Swallowtail

Papilio canadensis

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Papilio polyxenes

Black Swallowtail

Papilio polyxenes

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Papilio troilus

Spicebush Swallowtail

Papilio troilus

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Papilio thoas

Thoas Swallowtail

Papilio thoas

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Papilio xuthus

Asian Swallowtail

Papilio xuthus

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Papilio ornythion

Ornythion Swallowtail

Papilio ornythion

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Papilio anchisiades

Ruby-spotted Swallowtail

Papilio anchisiades

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Papilio clytia

Common Mime Swallowtail

Papilio clytia

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Papilio rumiko

Western Giant Swallowtail

Papilio rumiko

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Papilio rogeri

pink-spotted swallowtail

Papilio rogeri

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Ecology

In their larval form, members of Papilio typically feed upon plants of Rutaceae including common ornamental and agriculturally important species such as Citrus species, Murraya species, Choisya species and Calodendrum species. Caterpillars sequester terpenoids from their diet to produce a foul smelling oil used in defence.