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Costa Rican Black Swallowtail

Papilio polyxenes stabilis


The black swallowtail has a wingspan of 6.9–8.4 cm, and females are typically larger than males.The upper wing surface is black with two rows of yellow spots – these spots are large and bright in males and smaller and lighter in females. Females have a prominent blue area between these two rows, while males have a much less prominent blue area. These differences give rise to effective Batesian mimicry seen in females. Both sexes show a red spot with a black bullseye on the inner hind margin of the hindwings and an isolated yellow spot on the front edge of the wings. The ventral side of wings of males and females are essentially identical: forewings have two rows of pale yellow spots, and hindwings have rows of bright orange spots separated by areas of powdery blue. The ventral side also acts as an effective mimic for both males and females for protection against predators


Open areas that have been deforested and converted to meadows or pastures.


Females lay single eggs on host plants, usually on the new foliage and occasionally on flowers. The eggs stage lasts 4-9 days, the larval stage 10–30 days, and the pupal stage 18 days.The duration of these stages may vary depending on temperature and the species of the host plants.

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Jessie Aguilar
Jessie Aguilar 3 years ago

Thank you Hema!

Hema  Shah
Hema Shah 3 years ago


Jessie Aguilar
Spotted by
Jessie Aguilar

Cedral, Provincia de Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Spotted on Jul 3, 2018
Submitted on Jul 4, 2018

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