Thoas Swallowtail (Papilio thoas)

Order: Lepidoptera (le-pid-OP-ter-a) (Info)
Family: Papilionidae (pap-ill-lee-ON-ih-dee) (Info)
Genus: Papilio (pap-ILL-ee-oh) (Info)
Species: thoas

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On Aug 16, 2006, Magpye from NW Qtr, AR (Zone 6a) wrote:

Wing span: 4 1/8 - 5 inches (10.5 - 12.8 cm).

Identification: Upperside of forewing has diagonal yellow band of square spots in a neat row.

Life history: Caterpillars resemble bird droppings and rest exposed on leaves.

Flight: Year-round in the tropics, April-July in south Texas.

Caterpillar hosts: Plants in the citrus family (Rutaceae) including Citrus spp., prickly ash (Zanthoxylum americanum), hop tree (Ptelea trifoliata); six species in the Piperaceae family.

Adult food: Flower nectar, including lantana, cesalpina, and bougainvilla.

Habitat: Mid-elevation tropical forests and lowland edges.

Range: South Texas south to Brazil. Very rare stray into Kansas and Oklahoma.