Papilio multicaudata (Two-Tailed Tiger Swallowtail)

Papilio multicaudata, also called Two-Tailed Tiger Swallowtail is a butterfly from Nearctic ecozone (North America). The first description was in 1884 by Kirby. The wingspan is about 10 – 12 cm. Papilio multicaudata is a member of the family PAPILIONIDAE. The basic colour of this butterfly is yellow with black stripes. The hind wings have two tails.



Photos for easy identification

Photo © by Naturhistorisches Museum Wien; Photographer Thomas Neubauer
Photo © by Naturhistorisches Museum Wien; Photographer Thomas Neubauer
Photo © by Naturhistorisches Museum Wien; Photographer Thomas Neubauer
Photo © by Naturhistorisches Museum Wien; Photographer Thomas Neubauer

These are nice photos of Papilio multicaudata (Two-Tailed Tiger Swallowtail) (male above / female below). Papilio multicaudata is a member of the family PAPILIONIDAE from Nearctic (North America).


Description

The forewings are yellow. Four black stripes dominate the wing. The outer edge is black and contains a yellow stripe.
The underside of Papilio multicaudata is very similar to the upside.

The hind wings of Papilio multicaudata are yellow and they have two tails. The edge is very wavy. In the middle of the wing there is a black stripe. The inner edge is black. The outer edge is black and contains a chain of blue spots and a chain of yellow spots. At the inner edge there is a blue-black-red eye-spot.
The underside is very similar to the upside. But, there are some additional blue spots and an additional black stripe.

The body (abdomen) is striped in black-yellow. The thorax is striped in black-yellow. The head is striped in black-yellow. The underside of all parts is yellow and has black stripes.

Sex differences: The female has broader black stripes. And additional blue spots on the hind wing.


Distribution

Papilio multicaudata is a butterfly from the Nearctic ecozone (North America). The area of ​​distribution of this butterfly stretches from Guatemala to USA (Arizona, Dakota, Oklahoma, Californien, Texas and Nevada) and Canada (British Columbia and Alberta).

This world map shows the ecozones in which this butterfly is distributed.

Larval food

Ash (Fraxinus), Blackthorn (Prunus) and Oak (Quercus)


General information

The first description of this butterfly was in 1884 by Kirby. There are two subspecies.

The caterpillar is brown with a black ring at neck. The flight-period of Papilio multicaudata is from May to August (in the North) and all-the-year (in the South).

The distribution of Papilio multicaudata overlaps with the distribution of Papilio pilumnus.
The following differentiators are very useful to differ these similar species.

Photo © by Naturhistorisches Museum Wien; Photographer Thomas Neubauer
Photo © by Naturhistorisches Museum Wien; Photographer Thomas Neubauer

Here you can see another exemplar of Papilio multicaudata (female). The wingspan is about 12 cm.


Macro - photos

Photo © by Naturhistorisches Museum Wien; Photographer Thomas Neubauer macro photograph of Papilio multicaudata m (underside)
Photo © by Naturhistorisches Museum Wien; Photographer Thomas Neubauer macro photograph of Papilio multicaudata f (underside)

Here you can see some macro photos of Papilio multicaudata.


Protection provisions / Red List

Similar and closely-related species

Papilio pilumnus Boisduval 1836 (Three-Tailed Tiger Swallowtail)


Scientific name

Papilio multicaudata Kirby 1884


Other names

 Two-Tailed Tiger Swallowtail


Classification / Taxonomy / Family tree

To the family tree (Genus: PAPILIO)...


 

To the top

Back to family Papilionidae from NEARCTIC (NORTH AMERICA)


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