Papilio canadensis, Killdeer Mountains Wildlife Management Area, Dunn County, North
Dakota, 13 June 2003 Ref
Canadian Tiger Swallowtail
Papilio canadensis Rothschild & Jordan, 1906
Tribe Papilionini, Fluted Swallowtails
There are about 600 species within the family Papilionidae. The family is made up
of 3 subfamilies, the Parnassiinae, which has about 50 species of Parnassians and
Apollos that are found mostly in the montane regions of the nothern hemisphere, the
Baroniinae, which has only 1 species, Baronia brevicomis from western Mexico, and
the Papilioninae, which has about 550 species found worldwide. The subfamily Papilioninae
is further divided into 4 tribes, the Teinopalpini, which include 2 species from
the Himalayas, the Troidini, which has about 130 worldwide species including the
birdwings, the Leptocircini, which has about 140 species and includes kite Swallowtails,
and the Papilionini, which has over 200 worldwide species and includes the fluted
swallowtails in which Papilio canadensis belongs to.
Papilio canadensis, Denbigh Experimental Forest, McHenry County, North Dakota, 26
June 2004 Ref
Papilio canadensis was recognized as a distinct species from the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
in 1991. The two species are very closely related and hybrids do occur where their
ranges overlap. It is found throughout the northern tier of states of the U.S. then
north throughout Canada. It is common throughout most of its range and prefers woodland
edges. It avidly collects nectar and males can also be found in numbers imbibing
minerals from the edges of lakes, rivers, and puddles on gravel roads.
Larval hostplants include many trees and shrubs. Some of the more common are birch,
aspen and black cherry. Immature larvae look like a bird dropping. Mature larvae
resemble a snake. Larvae have eversible organs called osmeteria that are used to
chemically deter predators.
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