Papilio multicaudata (Two-Tailed Tiger Swallowtail)
Papilio multicaudata, also called Two-Tailed Tiger Swallowtail is a . 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
These are nice photos of Papilio multicaudata (Two-Tailed Tiger Swallowtail) (male above / female below). Papilio multicaudata is a member of the
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.
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).
Ash (Fraxinus), Blackthorn (Prunus) and Oak (Quercus)
The first description of this butterfly was in 1884 by Kirby. There are two subspecies.
- Papilio multicaudata grandiosus [Austin & Emmel, 1998]
- Papilio multicaudata pusillus [Austin & Emmel, 1998]
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.
- The Papilio multicaudata has one eye on the hind wings and four tiger-stripes on the forewings.
- The Papilio pilumnus has two eyes on the hind wings and three broad tiger-stripes on the forewings.
Macro - photos
Here you can see some macro photos of Papilio multicaudata.
Protection provisions / Red List
- CITES: (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora):
- EU regulation on trading with species of wild Fauna and Flora
- IUCN Red List of threatened species:
Similar and closely-related species
Papilio multicaudata Kirby 1884
Two-Tailed Tiger Swallowtail
Classification / Taxonomy / Family tree
- Kingdom: ANIMALIA
- Phylum: ARTHROPODA
- Class: INSECTA
- Order: LEPIDOPTERA
- Suborder: DITRYSIA
- Superfamily: PAPILIONOIDEA
- Family: PAPILIONIDAE
- Subfamily: PAPILIONINAE
- Tribe: PAPILIONINI
- Genus: PAPILIO
- Specific name: MULTICAUDATA