Butterflies of North Carolina:
their Distribution and Abundance

Common Name begins with:
[ A ]  [ B ]  [ C ]  [ D ]  [ E ]  [ F ]  [ G ]  [ H ]  [ I ]  [ J ]  [ K ]  [ L ]  [ M ]  [ N ]  [ O ]  [ P ]  [ Q ]  [ R ]  [ S ]  [ T ]  [ V ]  [ W ]  [ Y ]  [ Z ]  
Scientific Name begins with:
[ A ]  [ B ]  [ C ]  [ D ]  [ E ]  [ F ]  [ G ]  [ H ]  [ J ]  [ L ]  [ M ]  [ N ]  [ O ]  [ P ]  [ S ]  [ T ]  [ U ]  [ V ]  [ Z ]  
Once on a species account page, clicking on the "View PDF" link will show the flight data for that species, for each of the three regions of the state.
Other information, such as high counts and earliest/latest dates, can also been seen on the PDF page.

Related Species in PAPILIONIDAE:
<<       >>
comNamePalamedes Swallowtail by Randy Newman => Fort Macon State Park, 2003-06-27
[View PDF]
Click to enlarge
[Google Images]     BoA [Images ]
sciNamePterourus palamedes
mapClick on a county for list of all database records for the species in that county.
distributionDISTRIBUTION: Throughout the Coastal Plain, but only a stray (presumably) to the eastern edge of the Piedmont, and an accidental stray to the mountains (two counties). Occurs in practically all Coastal Plain counties in NC, but scarce in the northwestern Coastal Plain.
abundanceABUNDANCE: Common to abundant; abundant in many lower Coastal Plain counties with extensive pocosins and swamps. Dozens to over 100 individuals may be seen in a single day in some places, such as mainland Dare County, the Great Dismal Swamp, and in the Green Swamp.
flightFLIGHT PERIOD: Late March into mid-October; rarely in early March and even into December (in a very mild fall). It is normally the latest flying swallowtail in fall. Probably two broods; late March to late June or early July, and early July to mid-October. There is no gap, however, between the flight periods.
habitatHABITAT: Very widespread, but generally near swamps, pocosins, bay forests, savannas, and other moist forests. Not as common in dry places such as xeric longleaf pine forests. Not usually seen in deep shade, but often seen flying across fields, roads, and other openings.
See also Habitat Account for Laurel Shrublands
plantsFOOD AND NECTAR PLANTS: The main foodplant is primarily Upland Redbay (Persea borbonia), and also perhaps Sassafras (Sassafras albidum). Redbay is abundant in most moist forests and pocosins in the Coastal Plain. The nectar plants are widespread; common on savanna plants such as blazing-stars (Liatris spp.).
commentsCOMMENTS: This is often the most common and conspicuous butterfly seen on a day's visit to savannas, pocosins, and swamp roads in the Coastal Plain. It is a tame species allowing close approach while nectaring; it is also a rather slow flying species, such that large numbers are hit and killed by cars driving through the Green Swamp and through the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. The most remarkable record for the state was one photographed by John Gerwin on May 23, 2010, along the Blue Ridge Parkway in Jackson County, at close to 6000 feet!

Only in the past few years has there been a disastrous die-off of Redbay trees in FL, GA, and now in southern and coastal SC; and within this period scattered death of trees has been noted in extreme southeastern NC. Most such trees are now dead around Hilton Head Island, SC. An introduced beetle, native to Asia, along with a fungus, are the cause of the death, though there is some question about which organism first attacks the healthy tree. This death of large areas of Redbay has caused NatureServe to upgrade the Global Rank of the Palamedes Swallowtail from G5 (demonstrably secure) to G4 (apparently secure). Even though the butterfly remains abundant in most of its range in the Carolinas (for now), and no decline has yet been noted in NC (except maybe around Wilmington), the State Rank has been upgraded to S4 to be "in-line" with the Global Rank. Also, it is expected that the closely related Sassafras plant may well be impacted, which could impact not only the Palamedes Swallowtail but the Spicebush Swallowtail.
state_statusS4
fed_statusG4
synonymPapilio palamedes
other_name
edit_done
page_num6
sort_order6.0

Links to other butterfly galleries: [Cook] [Lynch] [Pippen] [Pugh]
Photo Gallery for Palamedes Swallowtail
Photo by: Chris Helms
Comment: Lake Waccamaw State Park, Columbus Co; 2005-June-30, puddling
Palamedes Swallowtail - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Roger Rittmaster
Comment:
Palamedes Swallowtail - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Paul Scharf
Comment: swamp area on Wise-Five Forks Road, Warren Co.; 2009-July-24
Palamedes Swallowtail - Click to enlarge