Swallowtails: fluminense swallowtail (Parides ascanius)

(Lepidoptera: Papilionidae: Papilioninae)

Profile prepared by The Xerces Society

The fluminense swallowtail is jeopardized by the drainage and development of its subcoastal swamp habitat near Rio de Janeiro.

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conservation status

This swallowtail is listed as vulnerable by the IUCN Red List. It is also listed as threatened by the Brazilian government.

description and taxonomic status

Please contact The Xerces Society for information oh how to obtain permission to use this photo.

This wings of this relatively large swallowtail have a predominately black background crossed by a wide white stripe. The hind wing has a long tail and bands of rose-colored scales.

life history

The fluminense swallowtail depends upon its larval food plant, Aristolochia macroura, and occurs in areas of sandy soil where the brush is not too high. It flies in the morning and late afternoon when the sun is out.


Habitat for this species can be found in subcoastal and lowland swamps along the coast of the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro.


This species is at risk because of drainage and development of its subcoastal swamp habitat near Rio de Janeiro, competition with other swallowtail species in its reduced range, and the over collecting of specimens that fetch a high price on the world market.

conservation needs

Protection of remaining swamp habitat outside of the city of Rio de Janeiro and regulations against the sale of specimens are critical for the continued survival of this species.


Collins, N. Mark and Michael G. Morris. 1985. Threatened Swallowtail Butterflies of the World: The IUCN Red Data Book. IUCN, Cambridge, U.K. 401 pp. (pp. 240 to 241).

Tyler, Hamilton, Keith S. Brown, Jr. and Kent Wilson. 1994. Swallowtail Butterflies of the Americas. Scientific Publishers, Inc. Gainesville, Florida. 376 pp. (pg. 179).


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