Papilio pilumnus (Three-tailed Tiger Swallowtail)

Papilio pilumnus, also called Three-Tailed Tiger Swallowtail is a butterfly from Neotropic ecozone (South America). 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

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

Here you can see some photos of Papilio pilumnus (Three-tailed Tiger Swallowtail). Papilio pilumnus is a member of the family PAPILIONIDAE from Neotropic ecozone (South America).


Description

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.


Distribution

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.


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

Larval food

Lauraceae:

General information

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.

Macro photographs

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

Here you can see some macro photos of Papilio pilumnus.


Protection provisions / Red List

Similar and closely-related species

Papilio multicaudata Kirby 1884 (Two-Tailed Tiger Swallowtail)


Scientific name

Papilio pilumnus Boisduval 1836


Other names

 Three-Tailed Tiger Swallowtail


Classification / Taxonomy / Family tree

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


Ecozone

NEOTROPIC (South America)

 

To the top

Back to family Papilionidae from NEOTROPIC (SOUTH AMERICA)


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