Pale Swallowtail (Papilio eurymedon) (Lucas, 1852)
Diagnosis: This medium- to large-sized swallowtail can be distinguished from other species of the tiger swallowtail group by its creamy-white ground colour and wide black tiger stripes. Wingspan 62 to 100 mm.
Range: In Canada it occurs only in southern British Columbia, north to Wells Grey Provincial Park in the interior and Tweedsmuir Provincial Park near the coast, and in southwestern Alberta.
Similar Species: Distinguished from all the other similar swallowtails (canadensis, rutulus, multicaudatus) by its very pale ground colour. Some very faded specimens of these other species may resemble it. [compare images]
Early Stages: These are similar to those of other species in the tiger swallowtail group. Larval foodplants are in the families Rosaceae and Rhamnaceae, especially cherry (Prunus spp.) and Ceanothus.
Abundance: The Pale Swallowtail tends to be less common than the other species of the tiger swallowtail group.
Flight Season: The Pale Swallowtail flies from April until late July.
Habits: This is a butterfly of hilly and mountainous country and, among the tiger swallowtails, it is the one most often found hilltopping. It also tends to be fond of mud-puddling. The Pale Swallowtail isusually absent from drier, hotter areas.
Remarks: The Pale Swallowtail appears to be the least likely species to hybridize with other species ofthe tiger swallowtail group in the wild.
© 2002. This material is reproduced with permission from The Butterflies of Canada by Ross A. Layberry, Peter W. Hall, and J. Donald Lafontaine. University of Toronto Press; 1998. Specimen photos courtesy of John T. Fowler.
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