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Schaus' Swallowtail 
Latin Name: Papilio aristodemus ponceanus
 
Genus: Papilio    Species: aristodemus ponceanus 
Family
Latin Name: Papilionidae
Common Name: Swallowtails
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Family Members
 
SubFamily
Latin Name: Papilioninae
Common Name: Swallowtails
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SubFamily Members

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Comments:
Originally described in 1911 by William Schaus, a physician visiting Miami to treat yellow fever victims, this swallowtail is one of the rarest butterflies in Florida. Once found throughout much of Keys and extreme southern portions of the mainland, its range and population numbers have been severely reduced over the past half-century due to habitat loss and mosquito control pesticide use. Today, the butterfly remains primarily restricted to the intact hardwood hammocks of northern Key Largo and the islands within Biscayne National Park. Schaus' Swallowtail is Florida's only federally endangered butterfly.
   
Life Cycle:
Broods:
single generation
Egg:
light or dark green, laid singly on host leaves; new growth is strongly preferred
Larva:
brown with cream and yellow patches and several longitudinal rows of blue spots; young larvae resemble bird droppings
Host Plants:
Wild Lime and Torchwood
   
Host Plants:
Host Plants:
Wild Lime and Torchwood
   
Habitat:
Habitat:
tropical hardwood hammock
   
     
     
   
Wingspan:
Inches:
3.25 - 5.25
Centimeters:
8.3 - 13.3
   
Appearance:
Sexes:
similar, although male has yellow-tipped antenn
Compare:
Giant Swallowtail is generally larger, has yellow-centered hindwing tails, and intersecting yellow forewing bands.
   
     
     
Markings:
 

Above:

  • dark brown with a submarginal row of yellow pots and a broad yellow median band; hindwing tails outlined in yellow  
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Below:

  • yellow with brown markings and wide reddish brown median hindwing band bordered by a row of blue spots  
 
Florida Distribution:
Abundance:
rare; highly localized; state and federally endangered
   

 

     

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Map Legend: Resident (green) | Stray (Red)


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