Pale Swallowtail

Pale Swallowtail (Papilio eurymedon), photo Andy Vine, June 28, 2020, May’s Garden, Mansons Landing

Papilio eurymedon, the Pale Swallowtail or Pallid Swallowtail, is a relatively common swallowtail butterfly found throughout much of western North America. It is found on the Pacific coast from northern Baja California to southernmost British Columbia, and inland to New Mexico and the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Spotted on Cortes Island by:

Hannu Huuskonen, Siskin Lane, May 15, 2020.

Andy Vine, Sunday, June 28, 2020, 2 p.m. at Mays Garden, Mansons Landing

Sometimes, it is difficult to differentiate between the Pale Swallowtail and the Western Swallowtail. The difference between these two is the colour of the last little bright crescent above the tails:  yellow in the western tiger and orange in the pale swallowtail (C.G)!

Read more: Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility.


Comparison between Western Swallowtail (left, yellow crescent) and Pale Swallowtail (right, orange crescent), photo Christian Gronau

Pale Swallowtail, with the orange colour of the crescent in question very prominent, South east end of Gorge Harbour, 2011

Pale Swallowtail (Papilio eurymedon), photo Christian Gronau, southeast end of Gorge Harbour, 2011

Ray Kendel found a dead swallowtail in his garden. He thought it was a Western, because it is quite yellow. But it is another Pale, just one with a lot more colour than usual: the last crescent is definitely orange, and the black bars are more massive than in a Western. July 13, 2020.

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