A new Heraclides swallowtail (Lepidoptera, Papilionidae) from North America is recognized by the pattern on its neck

Kojiro Shiraiwa, Qian Cong, Nick V. Grishin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Heraclides rumiko Shiraiwa & Grishin, sp. n. is described from southwestern United States, Mexico, and Central America (type locality: USA, Texas, Duval County). It is closely allied to H. cresphontes (Cramer, 1777) and the two species are sympatric in central Texas. The new species is diagnosed by male genitalia and exhibits a nearly 3% difference from H. cresphontes in the COI DNA barcode sequence of mitochondrial DNA. The two Heraclides species can usually be told apart by the shape and size of yellow spots on the neck, by the wing shape, and the details of wing patterns. “Western Giant Swallowtail” is proposed as the English name for H. rumiko. To stabilize nomenclature, neotype for Papilio cresphontes Cramer, 1777, an eastern United States species, is designated from Brooklyn, New York, USA; and lectotype for Papilio thoas Linnaeus, 1771 is designated from Suriname. We sequenced DNA barcodes and ID tags of nearly 400 Papilionini specimens completing coverage of all Heraclides species. Comparative analyses of DNA barcodes, genitalia, and facies suggest that Heraclides oviedo (Gundlach, 1866), reinstated status, is a species-level taxon rather than a subspecies of H. thoas (Linnaeus, 1771); and H. pallas (G. Gray, [1853]), reinstated status, with its subspecies H. p. bajaensis (J. Brown & Faulkner, 1992), comb. n., and Heraclides anchicayaensis Constantino, Le Crom & Salazar, 2002, stat. n., are not conspecific with H. astyalus (Godart, 1819).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-135
Number of pages51
Issue number468
StatePublished - 2014


  • Biodiversity
  • Butterfly release
  • Cryptic species
  • DNA barcodes
  • Heraclides homothoas
  • Heraclides melonius
  • Neotropical

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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