The Swallowtail butterfly is a symbol of beauty and resilience. These magnificent insects are famous for their colorful patterns, fluttering wings, and graceful movements. However, there is much more to learn about the Swallowtail butterfly beyond its aesthetic appeal. In this section, we will explore the scientific name of the Swallowtail butterfly, revealing its intriguing taxonomy and classification.

As we delve into the scientific world of Swallowtail butterflies, we will uncover their various species, habitat, and unique characteristics. The scientific name of the Swallowtail butterfly will provide us with a deeper understanding of these creatures and their place in the natural world.

Key Takeaways

  • Scientific names reveal the taxonomy and classification of Swallowtail butterflies.
  • Understanding Swallowtail butterfly taxonomy is important for appreciating their beauty and place in the natural world.
  • There are many Swallowtail butterfly species, each with their unique characteristics and geographical distribution.
  • The scientific name of a Swallowtail butterfly species often reveals its origins and meaning.
  • Appreciating the scientific name of Swallowtail butterflies can lead to a greater appreciation for their significance and beauty.

Understanding Swallowtail Butterfly Taxonomy

Swallowtail butterfly species

Swallowtail butterflies are a diverse group of insects that encompass over 550 species worldwide. They are recognized for their striking colors, unique patterns on their wings, and signature tail-like projections on their hind wings. The scientific classification of Swallowtail butterflies is essential in understanding their evolutionary relationships and characteristics.

The classification of Swallowtail butterflies is based on their physical features, including wing shape, coloration, and other morphological characteristics. These characteristics are used to group Swallowtail butterflies into families, sub-families, tribes, sub-tribes, and genera. Within each classification level, various criteria are used to describe and categorize the features of the Swallowtail butterflies.

The subfamily Baroniinae, Papilioninae, and Parnassiinae house different tribes, which then give rise to sub-tribes and genera. The most comprehensive classification of Swallowtail butterflies is Papilionidae, which is further divided into five tribes; these are:

  • Papilionini
  • Troidini
  • Teinopalpini
  • Leptocircini
  • Chilasa feminine

The scientific name of Swallowtail butterflies follows binomial nomenclature, consisting of a genus and species name. For example, the popular species, the Eastern Black Swallowtail, goes by the name Papilio polyxenes. The genus name Papilio describes the Swallowtail butterfly group, while the species name polyxenes distinguishes the particular Swallowtail butterfly species.

Understanding Swallowtail butterfly taxonomy provides a deeper appreciation and understanding of these beautiful insects. It helps researchers, conservationists, and enthusiasts to classify and identify the vast number of species accurately.

Discovering Swallowtail Butterfly Species

Swallowtail butterfly species

Swallowtail butterflies are known for their striking beauty and come in different species. Each species boasts its unique characteristics and range. Let’s explore the popular Swallowtail butterfly species names and their distribution:

Swallowtail Butterfly SpeciesGeographical Distribution
Battus philenorEastern North America from Southern Canada to the Gulf of Mexico
Papilio machaonEurasia, North America, and North Africa
Papilio troilusEastern North America
Papilio cresphontesCentral and North America, West Indies, and the southern USA
Battus polydamasSouth and Central America, and the southern parts of the USA
Graphium agamemnonSoutheast Asia, Indonesia, and Australasia

These are just some of the many Swallowtail butterfly species that exist. The species display individual unique characteristics like the tiger swallowtail butterfly whose wings feature prominent yellow and black stripes and spots that resemble the patterns on a tiger’s fur. Another stunning species is the black swallowtail butterfly with its striking black and blue colors combined with an iridescent sheen.

The Swallowtail butterfly species list is fascinating, and each species is truly remarkable. Take a moment to appreciate their beauty and uniqueness by observing them in their natural habitat or researching online.

Unveiling the Scientific Names of Swallowtail Butterfly Species

Swallowtail butterflies are renowned for their fascinating beauty and captivating charm. In this section, we will delve deeper into the scientific names of various Swallowtail butterfly species. Each of these names has a unique origin and holds significant meaning.

One of the most common Swallowtail butterfly species is the Papilio machaon, also known as the Old World Swallowtail. The species is named after the Greek mythological figure, Machaon, who was known for his exceptional healing abilities.

The Battus philenor, also known as the Pipevine Swallowtail, is another popular species named after the Greek mythical character, Battos. He was transformed into a fish by the gods after revealing the whereabouts of a stolen herd.

The Papilio troilus species, also known as the Spicebush Swallowtail, has a name derived from Greek mythology. Troilus is a character in Homer’s Illiad.

“Thus he spoke, and the Trojans raised their spears for battle.”

Lastly, the Papilio cresphontes species, known as the Giant Swallowtail, was named after Cresphontes, a King of Messene in Greek mythology.

Scientific Names of Swallowtail Butterfly Species

Common NameScientific NameOrigin/Heirloom
Old World SwallowtailPapilio machaonGreek Mythology
Pipevine SwallowtailBattus philenorGreek Mythology
Spicebush SwallowtailPapilio troilusGreek Mythology
Giant SwallowtailPapilio cresphontesGreek Mythology

Learning about the scientific names of these Swallowtail butterfly species enriches our appreciation for these elegant insects. Understanding their taxonomy and classification provides valuable insights into the diversity of life on our planet.


Understanding the scientific name, taxonomy, and species of the Swallowtail butterfly provides us with a deeper appreciation of these stunning creatures. By delving into their classification system, we gain insight into their unique characteristics and geographical distribution.

Learning about the scientific names of different Swallowtail butterfly species enables us to appreciate the origins and meanings behind these names. It also highlights the importance of taxonomy in understanding the diversity of life on our planet.

In conclusion, by understanding the Swallowtail butterfly scientific name, species and taxonomy, we can appreciate the beauty and diversity of these remarkable insects. So next time you spot a Swallowtail butterfly, take a moment to consider its classification and the fascinating world of taxonomy that surrounds it.


What is the scientific name of the Swallowtail butterfly?

The scientific name of the Swallowtail butterfly is Papilionidae. It belongs to the family Papilionidae, which encompasses a diverse group of large and colorful butterflies.

How are Swallowtail butterflies classified according to their taxonomy?

Swallowtail butterflies are classified under the order Lepidoptera, which includes all butterflies and moths. They belong to the family Papilionidae and the subfamily Papilioninae. Within the subfamily Papilioninae, they are further divided into various genera and species.

Can you provide a list of Swallowtail butterfly species?

Some of the well-known Swallowtail butterfly species include the Eastern Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes), the Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus), the Giant Swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes), the Spicebush Swallowtail (Papilio troilus), and the Zebra Swallowtail (Protographium marcellus), among many others.

How are Swallowtail butterfly species named scientifically?

Swallowtail butterfly species are named scientifically using binomial nomenclature, which consists of a genus name and a species name. For example, the Eastern Black Swallowtail’s scientific name is Papilio polyxenes, where Papilio is the genus name and polyxenes is the species name.

Last Update: December 29, 2023