Entomology Collection TitleImage Bugs Pinned
Species Page - Papilio machaon dodi
species list search results ->Papilio machaon dodi ->species page

E-mail this Page   
Print this Page   
Link to this Page   

scientific name    Papilio machaon dodi    

common name     Dod's Old World Swallowtail

River valley badlands and eroding hillsides in prairie grasslands.

Two flights annually, peaking mid May to mid June and late July to August.

There are four taxa in this species group in Alberta, consisting of the Anise Swallowtail (P. zelicaon) and three subspecies of the Old World Swallowtail (P. machaon). The Anise Swallowtail occurs together with P. machaon throughout most of Alberta, and the following characters will distinguish these two species in most cases: the black pupil of the hindwing eyespot is connected to the wing margin or positioned below the red scales in P. machaon, compared to a centered, unconnected pupil in zelicaon. Occasionally, hybrid individuals displaying characters intermediate between P. m. dodi and P. zelicaon are found, while hybrids between other machaon subspecies and zelicaon can be quite common in some areas (Sperling 1987, 1990). Subspecies of P. machaon are best distinguished by location and habitat. P. m. pikei occurs in habitat similar to that of P. m. dodi, but is restricted to the Peace River grasslands. The Hudsonian Old World Swallowtail (P. m. hudsonianus) is a boreal forest species generally associated with sparsely wooded bogs. To add to the challenge in identifying members of this group, a black color form occurs rarely in populations of P. m. dodi (but not pikei or hudsonianus), in which adults have most of the yellow colouration replaced by black (Sperling 1987). This form more commonly occurs in the Anise Swallowtail (P. zelicaon) and hybrids between P. machaon and P. zelicaon. Differences in mitchondrial DNA also distinguish P. machaon from P. zelicaon (Sperling & Harrison 1994).

life history
Eggs are yellow and spherical. First to third instar larvae are black with a white 'saddle', and resemble bird droppings. Mature larvae of P. m. dodi are bright green to blue-green with black bands and orange (very rarely yellow) segmental spots (Sperling 1987). Pupae are variegated brown or green and may overwinter more than once, possibly to avoid drought conditions in poor years (Bird et al. 1995). Adult males seek out hill tops or prominent ridge tops along river valleys to await females.

Currently not of concern, although flooding as a result of damming would reduce habitat.

diet info
The only larval foodplant is Tarragon (=Dragonwort) (Artemisia dracunculus) (Sperling 1987). Adults take nectar at groundsel (Senecio spp.), hedysarum (Hedysarum spp.) and alfalfa (Medicago sativa) (Bird et al. 1995).

Dod's Old World Swallowtail occurs from the southern Kootenay River valley of southeastern BC and the Battle River valley of Alberta east to southeastern Saskatchewan, south into the adjacent U.S. (Sperling 1987, Guppy & Shepard 2001, Schmidt unpubl. data). The type specimens were collected near Dorothy, Alberta (Kondla 1981) by one of Alberta's foremost pioneer lepidopterists, F.H. Wolley Dod.

quick link

Comments (0)Add New Comment

Comments are published according to our submission guidelines. The EH Strickland Entomological Museum does not necessarily endorse the views expressed.

Add New Comment (all fields are required)

Related Species Info
Display Hierarchy
References (6)
Specimen Info
There are 201 specimens of this species in the online database
Map Distribution
Adult Seasonal Distributioncreate a collection histogram with specimens
Specimen List (201)


Logo Department of Museums and Collections ServicesLogo University of Alberta