Sharon (and all),
Below are posts which I received from Harry Pavulaan last fall regarding P.
joanae (Ozark Swallowtail). As you will read in the various Field Guides,
joanae is suspected of occurring in at least the southern Appalachian
region, in addition to the Ozark regions in the Middle West. Harry considers
finding joanae in New England a "long shot", but also does note the
similarity between the forests in Missouri and the Transition Zone forests
of New England.
I do have a specimen of "Black" Swallowtail from Essex Co., Ontario which
does [possess the distinguishing marks of joanae which Harry outlines below.
In addition, I have a male specimen from eastern MA which I caught last July
ona hilltop, which in itself is not too significant as polyxenes males do
hilltop; but this one had a strange flight pattern for polyxenes (decidedly
zigzag in a quick manner back and forth, as compared to the typical nervous
straight forward pattern of polyxenes), also the specimen kept disappearing
into he dense woodland adjacent the glade where I saw it, for 10 minutes at
a time; I pursued the specimen for 45 minutes before I caught it on clovers.
This specimen has yellow tegulae and a yellow "face" (palps); strange. I
also saw another suspicious specimen on May 4, 2001 near Sunderland, MA
where I was observing a colony of West Virginia Whites; this specimen also
stayed inside the open woods, and displayed a zigzag flight pattern but
unfortunately I couldn't catch it.
Who knows; I would just keep an eyeout. And if you do get a voucher or two,
Sharon, send them to me. I'd appreciate it. Also, note that besides the
photos of joanae in Opler's Field Guide, there are good photos in Scott's
1986 Field Guide.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Sharon Riley [SMTP:[log in to unmask]]
> Sent: Wednesday, May 15, 2002 7:43 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: black swallowtail?
> Hi Alex,
> Sure, I will keep my eyes open and try to get a specimen(s). I did find a
> listing in Peterson's, but any more hints on distinguishing them from
> Black Swallowtails would be great, as it appears to be quite difficult!
[AG] Harry Pavulaan #1:
> The possibility of finding P. joanae in Massachusetts is a long
> shot, but (1) we know very little of the species' distribution outside of
> the Ozarks, (2) few people know how to identify a P. joanae, and (3)
> virtually nobody is looking for the bug. I have a few specimens of P.
> joanae and have looked at them again to refresh my memory. There are
> three features which make the bug distinct. I'll get the cell and vein
> terminology correct and forward them to you.
> In Missouri, I found both polyxenes and joanae in woodland habitats
> together. They even occupied the same places. On several hilltops, there
> would be breaks in the Oak forest canopy (which, by the way, is EXTREMELY
> similar to that of Massachusetts) where sunlight would reach the forest
> floor. Two or three Papilio would always be found in these open areas.
> Roughly one would be joanae and the others polyxenes (they are rather
> distinct when you get familiar with them). The big difference was that I
> would find an occasional black Swallowtail in deep woods but the few I
> found appeared to be joanae. Anything in open fields would always be
> polyxenes. But I have not seen polyxenes occupy woodland habitats
> elsewhere in the east, with one sole exception: several years ago I found
> a female polyxenes/joanae inspecting the pine forest floor in western
> Maryland. I followed her a bit to see what she was looking to oviposit
> on. There were Golden Alexanders, but I never did see her lay on
> anything, and she took off
> before I could net her.
> In Missouri, I found numerous caterpillars on Cow Parsnip in
> woodland, but 19 of 20 were parasitized, and the one that emerged was
[AG] Harry Pavulaan #2:
> The main differences between joanae and polyxenes are as follows:
> 1) The forwardmost yellow cresent in the postmedian band. In polyxenes,
> this mark contains a black spot. In joanae, there is no black spot within
> this yellow cresent.
> 2) The orange-red spot at the anal angle of the hindwing also contains a
> black spot in polyxenes. The spot is entirely within the orange-red mark.
> In joanae, this spot is connected to the inner part of the hind margin,
> along the body.
> 3) Polyxenes males have a yellow mark as part of the postmedian HW band,
> within the HW cell, adjacent to the spots lined up in the band. Joanae
> does not have this spot. It just has a single row of spots.