Comprehensive Description

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General Description

This large yellow and black butterfly has a wingspan of 65 to 80 mm. The hindwings each have a single tail and an orange-red eyespot. All three subspecies of Old World Swallowtail in the province have an oval to club-shaped eyespot on the hindwing that is connected to the wing margin or positioned below the red scales. P. m. hudsonianus and P. m pikei have yellow hair extending around the underside of the thorax and yellow scales at the base of the ventral forewing, whereas P. m. dodi predominately has black hair and scales in these areas. P. m. pikei can be distinguished from other subspecies of P. machaon by its geographic location, being restricted to the Peace River area (Bird et al., 1995). D. Macaulay image
 Eggs are spherical, white to yellow and have a pitted surface (Guppy & Shepard, 2001).
 Fifth instar larvae have segmental spots that are usually orange but may also be yellow and each segment has black and green bands (Sperling, 1987). The background colour of the mature larvae is flat blue-green to bright emerald green (Guppy & Shepard, 2001).  Pupae are mottled brown or green (Sperling, 1987).


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© University of Alberta Museums

Source: University of Alberta Museums

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