Papilio thoas (King Swallowtail)

Papilio thoas, also called King Swallowtail is a butterfly from Neotropic ecozone (South America). The first description was in 1771 by Linnaeus. The wingspan is about 12 – 14 cm. Papilio thoas is a member of the family PAPILIONIDAE. The basic colour of this butterfly is dark brown. A yellow band dominates the wings. The hind wings have tails.



Photos for easy identification

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

Here you can see some photos of Papilio thoas (male above / female below). Papilio thoas is a member of the family PAPILIONIDAE from Neotropic ecozone (South America).


Description

The forewings are dark brown or black. In the middle of wing there is a yellow band.
The underside of Papilio thoas is similar to the upside. But, there are some differences. At the outer edge there is an additional chain of yellow spots. And at the front edge there are some yellow stripes.

The hind wings of Papilio thoas are dark brown or black and they have tails. The edge is wavy. Next to the body there is a large yellow area. At the outer edge there is a chain of yellow spots.
The underside is yellow. The outer edge is dark brown and contains chains of white and yellow spots.

The body (abdomen)
 is yellow and has a black stripe. The thorax is black and has two yellow stripes. The head is black and has yellow spots. The underside of all parts is yellow.

Sex differences: None.


Distribution

Papilio thoas is a butterfly from the Neotropic ecozone (South America). The area of ​​distribution of this butterfly stretches from USA (Texas) to Argentina.

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

Larval food

Rutaceae:

Piperaceae:

General information

The first description of this butterfly was in 1771 by Linnaeus. There are six subspecies.

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

Here you can see the subspecies Papilio thoas brasiliensis (male). The wingspan is 14 cm.

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

Here you can see the subspecies Papilio thoas cinyras (male). The wingspan is 13 cm.

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

Here you can see the subspecies Papilio thoas oviedo. The wingspan is 9 cm.

Photo © by Naturhistorisches Museum Wien; PhotographerThomas Neubauer
Photo © by Naturhistorisches Museum Wien; PhotographerThomas Neubauer

Here you can see the subspecies Papilio thoas thoantiades. The wingspan is 10 cm.


Macro photographs

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

Here you can see some macro photos of Papilio thoas oviedo.


Protection provisions / Red List

Similar and closely-related species

Papilio androgeus Cramer 1775

Papilio astyalus Godart 1819

Papilio cresphontes Cramer 1777

Papilio himeros Hopffer 1866

Papilio paeon Boisduval 1836

Papilio thersites Fabricius 1775


Scientific name

Papilio thoas Linnaeus 1771


Other names

King Swallowtail,  Thoas Swallowtail


Classification / Taxonomy / Family tree

To family tree (Genus: PAPILIO)...   


Ecozone

NEOTROPIC (South America)

 

To the top

Back to family Papilionidae from NEOTROPIC (SOUTH AMERICA)


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