Black Swallowtail

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Black Swallowtail
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Subkingdom:Metazoa
Phylum:Arthropoda
Subphylum:Hexapoda
Class:Insecta
Subclass:Pterygota
Infraclass:Neoptera
Superorder:Endopterygota
Order:Lepidoptera
Suborder:Ditrysia
Family:Papilionidae
Tribe:Papilionini
Genus:Papilio
Species:P. polyxenes
Binomial name
Papilio polyxenes
Fabricius, 1775

The Black Swallowtail, Papilio polyxenes, is a butterfly found throughout much of North America.

The Black Swallowtail has a wingspan of 3 1/4 inches to 4 1/4 inches (8 to 11 centimeters). The upper surface of the wings is mostly black. On the inner edge of hindwing is a black spot centered in larger orange spot. A male of this species has a yellow band near edge of wings; a female has row of yellow spots. The hindwing of the female has an iridescent blue band.

In the Southwest USA, yellow forms predominate in the subspecies Papilio polyxenes coloro.

This article is adapted in part from this page (http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/distr/lepid/bflyusa/usa/895.htm) at the USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center (http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov).

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