Papilio pilumnus (Three-tailed Tiger Swallowtail)
Papilio pilumnus, also called Three-Tailed Tiger Swallowtail is a . The first description was in 1836 by Boisduval. The wingspan is about 8 – 10 cm. Papilio pilumnus is a member of the family PAPILIONIDAE. The basic colour of this butterfly is dark brown or black. Yellow stripes and spots dominate the wings. The hind wings have three tails.
Photos for easy identification
The forewings are dark brown or black. At the outer edge there is a chain of yellow spots. Three yellow stripes dominate the wing. The outermost strip contains a dark brown spot.
The underside of Papilio pilumnus is very similar to the upside. But, the basic colour is brown.
The hind wings of Papilio pilumnus are dark brown or black and they have three tails. The edge is wavy. At the outer edge there is a chain of yellow spots. Two yellow stripes dominate the wing. One of these stripes contains a little, dark brown spot. At the inner edge there are two big, red-black-blue eye spots.
The underside is very similar to the upside. But, the basic colour is brown. And there is an additional chain of red-black-blue spots.
The body (abdomen) is black and has two yellow stripes. The thorax and the head are black and have two yellow stripes. The underside of all parts is dark brown and has two yellow stripes.
Sex differences: None.
Papilio pilumnus is a butterfly from the Neotropic ecozone (South America). The area of distribution of this butterfly stretches from the South of USA (Arizona, New Mexico and Texas) to Panama.
- Litsea sp.
The first description of this butterfly was in 1836 by Boisduval. There are no subspecies.
The Three-tailed Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio pilumnus) is very similar to the Two-Tailed Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio multicaudata).
The following differentiators are very useful to differ these two species.
- Papilio multicaudata has one eye spot on hind wings and four small tiger stripes on Forewings.
- Papilio pilumnus has two eye spots on hind wings and three broad tiger stripes on Forewings.
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 pilumnus Boisduval 1836
Three-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: PILUMNUS