Tuesday, 25 February 2014

How did Papilio demoleus get to Cayman?

How did Papilio demoleus get to Cayman?
Chequered Swallowtail, Checkered swallowtail, Lime Swallowtail
P. Ann van B. Stafford, Feb. 24 2014

Swallowtail butterflies in Cayman

How did Papilio demoleus Linnaeus, 1758 get to Grand Cayman in the NW Caribbean? 

It possibly got here by courier service, from the Philippines for example, to a pupae supply company in the UK and then to a Butterfly Farm in the Eastern Caribbean. From there the adult butterflies might have been dispersed by a hurricane to the easternmost islands of the Greater Antilles and gradually winged their way westwards.

 Papilio demoleus
Photo: Peter Davey, Lower Valley, Grand Cayman, Oct. 8, 2016. 

Swallowtail butterflies in Cayman photos

Papilio demoleus larval food plants in Cayman (all in Citrus Family: RUTACEAE):
Lime - Citrus X aurantifolia (cultivated)
Tangerine - Citrus reticulata Blanco

Satinwood - Zanthoxylum flavum (Critically Endangered)

Shake Hand Three - Zanthoxylum caribaeum (Critically Endangered)

Limeberry - Triphasia trifolia (naturalized(?) and cultivated Old World species)

Papilio andraemon tailori (Cayman Swallowtail – Grand Cayman endemic subspecies) larval food plants in Cayman (all in Citrus Family: RUTACEAE)

Satinwood - Zanthoxylum flavum (Critically Endangered)

Shake Hand Two – Zanthoxylum coriaceum (Critically Endangered)

Shake Hand Three - Zanthoxylum caribaeum (Critically Endangered)

Candlewood – Amyris elemifera (Endangered)

Lime - Citrus X aurantifolia (cultivated)

Limeberry - Triphasia trifolia (naturalized(?) and cultivated Old World species)

P. demoleus grew MUCH FASTER than P. andraemon tailori.
Flicker Bulletin October / November 2014
Chequered Swallowtail Butterfly found again on Grand Cayman
R. R. Askew
Lime Swallowtail, Chequered Swallowtail, Citrus Swallowtail: Papilio demoleus Linnaeus (Insecta: Lepidoptera: Papilionidae) Featured Creatures  

Lime Swallowtail, Chequered Swallowtail, Citrus Swallowtail Papilio demoleus Linnaeus (Insecta: Lepidoptera: Papilionidae)  Delano S. Lewis
Lime Swallowtail, Chequered Swallowtail 
Original publication date January 2009. Reviewed January 2012.

The lime swallowtail, Papilio demoleus Linnaeus, is sometimes called the chequered or citrus swallowtail. This butterfly ranges widely and is an extremely successful invader. Its proliferation appears to be aided by agricultural land use and urbanization that creates new, suitable open habitat and enhanced availability of host resources.

This species is found throughout tropical and subtropical regions of southern Asia, ranging from Saudi Arabia, Iran and the Middle East to India, Nepal, southern China, Taiwan, and Japan, and south through Malaysia, Indonesia, and New Guinea to Australia. In recent years, P. demoleus has been recorded in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Jamaica. 

Papilio demoleus is native to the Old World where six subspecies are recognized.

P. d. demoleus,
P. d. libanius Fruhstorfer
P. d. malayanus Wallace
P. d. novoguineensis Rothschild
P. d. sthenelus Macleay
P. d. stenelinus Rothschild

Papilio demoleus in the Caribbean (recorded dates)   

between 1994 and 2004  island of St. Martin / Sint Maarten
2004 Dominican Republic
2006 Puerto Rico
2006 Jamaica
2007 Cuba
2011 May 29  Cayman Islands (first record), in West Bay, Grand Cayman
2014 Feb.18   Cayman Islands (second record), in East End, Grand Cayman
2016 Oct. 6    Cayman Islands (third record), in Lower Valley, Grand Cayman 
2017 Jan. 3     Lizette Lane, West Bay Grand Cayman
2017 Jan.23    Memorial Ave, George Town, Grand Cayman
2017               Heritage Beach, East End, Grand Cayman
2017 March    Raleigh Quay, Governor's Harbour, West Bay, Grand Cayman
2017 April 3   Columbus Close, George Town, Grand Cayman
2017 May 7    Memorial Ave, George Town, Grand Cayman
2017 May 17  Windermere St, George Town, Grand Cayman
2017 May 20  Governor Gore Bird Sanctuary, Savannah Newlands, Grand Cayman
2017 May 20  Newlands, Grand Cayman 
2017 June 6    South Church St, Grand Cayman - 3 larvae on very small Lime tree
2017 June 7    South Church St, Grand Cayman - female butterfly ovipositing on almost leafless very small Lime tree
2017 June       Little Cayman
2017 July 3    Vienna Circle, South Sound, Grand Cayman 
2018 Oct.19   Batabano Rd, near Jubilee Lane, West Bay, Grand Cayman - 6 
2019 Jan.2     West Bay, Grand Cayman
2019 Jan.29   West Bay, Grand Cayman - 6 
2019 July 5    Rowley Rise, George Town, Grand Cayman
2020 Feb.16   Antoinette Ave, Grand Cayman 
2020 Aug.24  Lower Valley, Grand Cayman
2020 Aug.26  Miss Izzy's Schoolhouse, Farrington Lane, West Bay, Grand Cayman - 6
2020 Aug.28  Miss Izzy's Schoolhouse, Farrington Lane, West Bay, Grand Cayman - 6
2020 Sept.15 Lyndhurst Ave, George Town, Grand Cayman
2020 Sept.16 Miss Keppie Lane, off Goring Ave, George Town, Grand Cayman

Between 1994 & 2004 Papilio demoleus in St. Martin / Sint Maarten
The island of St. Martin / Sint Maarten is located at the extreme north-east of the Caribbean Archipelago. A hinge between the Lesser and Greater Antilles, the island lies between the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. 7000 km/ 4350 miles separate it from Europe (8 hour flight).
St. Martin Wildlife Guide - Butterflies 

“St. Martin is home to a modest number of butterfly species. According to sources on the island, a number of species are no longer present due to a combination of habitat destruction and mosquito spraying. Many of the remaining species are quite common and can readily be seen by any visitor.”

Angerona Hairstreak (Electrostrymon angerona)
Cassius Blue (Leptotes cassius cassioides)
Checkered Swallowtail (Papilio demoleus)
Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)
Columella Scrub-Hairstreak (Strymon columella)
Disjunct Scrub-Hairstreak (Strymon bubastus ponce)
Florida White (Appias drusilla)
Great Southern White (Ascia monuste)
Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae)
Hall’s Sulfur (Eurema leuce)
Hanno Blue (Hemiargus h. hanno)
Little Yellow (Eurema lisa)
Long-tailed Skipper (Urbanus proteus)
Mimic (Hypolimnas misippus)
Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus)
Tropical Buckeye (Junonia genoveva)
Tropical Checkered Skipper (Pyrgus oileus    

Checkered Swallowtail (Papilio demoleus) St. Martin
“The checkered swallowtail, also called the common lime butterfly is one of the most common swallowtails in the world. According to one article, the first confirmation of this butterfly in the Western Hemisphere was in spring of 2004 in the Dominican Republic, which would seem to indicate a rather sudden and surprising spread of this species as it is currently seen commonly on the island, feeding at flower bushes.” 

1999 Hurricane Lenny Nov. 13-23

Lenny spent its entire lifespan (November 13-23) traveling in a west-to-east fashion from the central Caribbean to the Atlantic, which was unprecedented in the history of tropical record-keeping.

2004 Papilio demoleus in the Dominican Republic 
How did P. demoleus get to the Dominican Republic? 
The Provenance of Old World Swallowtail Butterflies, Papilio demoleus (Lepidoptera: Papilionidae), Recently Discovered in the New World  

January, 2006
Rod Eastwood, Sarah Lyn Boyce and Brian D. Farrell 

The 825-nucleotide haplotype (DL1) common to all Dominican Republic specimens also was the most common haplotype recorded in Southeast Asia; thus, genetic and morphological data independently have resulted in the same conclusion - the butterflies collected in the Dominican Republic originated in Southeast Asia. Furthermore, the single haplotype identified from 1,400homologous nucleotides in 24 P. demoleus specimens from the Dominican Republic suggests that these were the progeny of a single introduction (founding bottleneck). That haplotype DL1 was common and widespread in Southeast Asia, however, does not rule out the possibility of multiple  introductions. Because the species was not recorded by Takizawa et al. (2003) and despite regular insect collecting activties and intensive survey conducted annually by field entomology students, it is reasonable to assume that a single introduction took place shortly before they were captured in March 2004. The large number of  specimens collected in late September 2004 (n = 24) from several new locations (Guerrero et al. 2004, Wehling 2004), and recent collections by Ruth Bastardo from 200km distant in the far wes of the country at Pedernales (June 2005) and La Descubierta (August 2005) as well as north of the Cordillera Central near Santiago (August 2005) indicates that P. demoleus is established locally and expanding its range, even surviving severe storms in the Dominican Republic in May 2004 and hurricane Ivan in early September 2004.

How did the butterflies get to the Dominican Republic? There are several possible modes of introduction. First, is the unlikely possibility that the species reached there of its own accord. Records of P.demoleus migrating in Asia (Williams 1938) and in Australia (Common and Waterhouse 1981, Braby 2000) do exist; however, if the source population was located at the western (Baghdad) or eastern (southern Japan) extremes of the range, it would need to traverse distances exceeding 11,000 or 14,000 km, respectively, across continents, oceans, or both, and there are no recent records of the species at intervening localities. It is possible that a batch of early stages was accidentally introduced from Southeast Asia on air-freighted citrus products or equipment associated with the industry; however, Wayne Wehling (USDA) thinks that the butterflies may have been introduced deliberately for hobby interests or for release at a celebration such as a wedding (Wehling 2004). Whatever the mode of entry, these swallowtail butterflies are regarded as citrus pests in their home range, so their introduction to and establishment in the Dominican Republic could impact financially on the local citrus industry. Authorities are currently monitoring the butterflies, and it is hoped that the outbreak can be controlled in the Dominican Republic, and prevented from expanding into other citrus-producing countries in the Caribbean as well as mainland North and South America."

2006 Papilio demoleus in Puerto Rico
Homziak, N. T.; Homziak, J., 2006: Papilio demoleus Lepidoptera: Papilionidae: a new record for the United States, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Florida Entomologist 89(4): 485-488 
Papilio demoleus in Puerto Rico

2006 Papilio demoleus in Jamaica
GARRAWAY et al.: Papilio demoleus in Jamaica

Scientific Note: Papilio demoleus (The Lime Swallowtail ) (Lepidoptera: Papilionidae), A Potential Pest Of Citrus, Expanding Its Range In The Caribbean by Eric Garraway , Catherine P. Murphy And Grace-Ann Allen

This pdf include a book review by Andrei Sourakov, McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity, Florida Museum of Natural History, of  Butterflies of the Cayman Islands, 2008  R. R. Askew & P. A. van B. Stafford.

2007 Papilio demoleus in Cuba

Nunez Aguila, Rayner, 2007: Papilio demoleus Linnaeus, 1758 in Cuba Lepidoptera Papilionidae. Boletin de la SEA 41 (31 Octubre): 440

2011 Papilio demoleus in the Cayman Islands
Invasive butterfly finds way to Cayman
By: Hannah Reid | hannah.reid@cfp.ky  05 July, 2011

2014 Dr. R. R. Askew, on his recent visit to Grand Cayman, saw Papilio demoleus flying in the Captain George Dixon Park in East End on two different occasions. He captured a specimen on Feb.18, 2014.

2012 Papilio demoleus in Europe

First record of the Lime Swallowtail Papilio demoleus Linnaeus, 1758 (Lepidoptera, Papilionidae) in Europe

The Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera Volume 45: 85-89   2012

April 10, 2012 Portugal

Butterflies of the Cayman Islands 2008  R. R. Askew & P. A. van B. Stafford

This book will enable the identification of each of the 57 species of butterfly that has been recorded from the Cayman Islands. There is a description of every butterfly, stressing its most important characteristics, with photographs of living and mounted specimens. The distribution, history and biology of each species are reviewed and the plants which provide adult butterflies with nectar or feed their caterpillars are tabulated. A general introduction includes a discussion of the affinities and size of the Caymanian butterfly fauna. The three islands share most of their butterfly species but each island has uniquely characteristic elements and five subspecies live only in the Cayman Islands. Knowledge is fundamental to conservation; it is hoped that both the casual butterfly watcher and those more committed to the study of butterflies will discover much of interest in this book and thereby make a contribution to the continuing survival of these beautiful insects.

 Heraclides andraemon tailori (Rothschild & Jordan, 1906)

Cayman Swallowtail butterfly - Papilio andraemon tailori = Heraclides andraemon tailori (Rothschild & Jordan, 1906)
Grand Cayman endemic, Family: PAPILIONIDAE.

Andraemon Swallowtail - Papilio andraemon andraemon = Heraclides andraemon andraemon Hübner, 1823, flies on the Sister Islands - Little Cayman and Cayman Brac.

The indigenous larval food plants of Grand Cayman’s endemic Swallowtail Papilio andraemon tailori are original growth forest plants of the RUTACEAE family: Amyris elemifera  Endangered, Zanthoxylum coriaceum Critically Endangered, Z. flavum Critically Endangered and Z. caribaeum (Critically Endangered). It also feeds on introduced citrus; Butterflies of the Cayman Islands Askew & Stafford, Apollo Books 2008 p.113.

Flora of the Cayman Islands by George R. Proctor, Kew 2012
The book is available from:
Plant Science Bulletin 59(3) 2013
Review of the FLORA of the CAYMAN ISLANDS 2nd. Edition 2012 by George R. Proctor, p.138-142, by -Lee B. Kass, L. H. Bailey Hortorium, Department of Plant Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA. lbk7@cornell.edu

The Butterfly Farms in the Caribbean
St. Martin          NE Caribbean
St. Thomas        NE Caribbean
Aruba                S Caribbean
Grand Cayman    NW Caribbean

St. Martin Butterfly Farm
St. Martin Butterfly Farm  Hurricane History 1994-2004 
Dec. 26, 1994 The Butterfly Farm in Saint Martin opened.

Sept. 5. 1995 Hurricane Luis struck the island with devastating force. A 700-mile wide, Category 4 hurricane with 160-mph winds relentlessly battered the island for two days and two nights as the eye wall stalled overhead. The island was ravaged, there was total destruction and devastation that Luis‘s fury had reeked on the Butterfly Farm. Everything was gone except two barrel pots that marked where the entrance had once been.

Dec.26, 1995 The Butterfly Farm was rebuilt and re-opened.

July 8, 1996 Hurricane Bertha. Category 3 struck the island.

Sept. 1998 Hurricane George hit, packing 125-mph winds, was worse than Bertha, but not as bad as Luis. The Farm was rebuilt again.

Oct. 1999 Hurricane Jose, Category 1 force winds and torrential rainfall, caused minimal damage.

Nov. 18, 1999 Hurricane Lenny,  the “wrong way” hurricane, stayed for two days and nights. The Farm was yet again all but destroyed. Lenny was not only a powerful Category 4 hurricane at that time, but also became the strongest November hurricane on record.

St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands, Butterfly Farm

The Butterfly Farm, St. Thomas closed July 2010 because it was not achieving financial expectations. It changed hands and was reopened as the Butterfly Garden.  

Coral World Gives New Wings to Former Butterfly Farm
St. Thomas Source, February 22, 2011
Aruba Butterfly Farm 

Grand Cayman Butterfly Farm  2003-2009
2003 Feb. Grand Cayman Butterfly Farm opened. The butterflies, imported as pupae from all over the world, were sent by courier from the London Pupae Supply, UK. No species native to the Cayman Islands were imported.

Imported pupae, sent by courier from the UK, from pupae suppliers around the world
The Butterfly Farm Gift Shop, Grand Cayman, March 2, 2008.
The live butterflies were in the meshed area on the other side.

2004 Sept. The butterflies inside the meshed area at the Butterfly Farm were euthanized before Category 5 Hurricane Ivan hit.

2004 Dec. Grand Cayman Butterfly Farm was rebuilt and re-opened

2009 Oct. Grand Cayman Butterfly Farm closed down, due to a decline in visitors and the cost of rebuilding the facility following Hurricane Ivan in 2004.
Grand Cayman Butterfly Attraction Closes 

Butterflies Unique to the Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands hosts five endemic subspecies of butterflies:

Cayman Brown Leaf  Butterfly Memphis verticordia danielana (GC and LC)
Cayman Pygmy Blue Brephidium exilis thompsoni (GC only)
Cayman Lucas’s  Blue  Hemiargus ammon erembis (GC only)
Cayman Julia, Flambeau Dryas iulia zoe (all three islands)
Cayman Swallowtail  Heraclides  andraemon taylori (GC only)

Cayman Islands Department of the Environment

CaymANNature Butterflies, Moths and their Plants







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