Papilio hospiton


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Papilio hospiton
Species Authority: Géné, 1839
Common Name(s):
English Corsican Swallowtail

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-01-29
Assessor(s): van Swaay, C., Wynhoff, I., Verovnik, R., Wiemers, M., López Munguira, M., Maes, D., Sasic, M., Verstrael, T., Warren, M. & Settele, J.
Reviewer(s): Lewis, O. (Butterfly RLA) & Cuttelod, A. (IUCN Red List Unit)
In previous assessments (Collins and Morris 1985), Papilio hospiton was listed as Endangered, based on a population decline caused by habitat destruction, commercial collecting and destruction of its foodplants. Aubert et al. (1996) found that the species was in fact not declining, although elimination of the foodplants could lead to a potential decline of the butterfly. As long as traditional land use characterized by overgrazing and controlled burning continues, the foodplants are however not in danger. Following the present Red List criteria, this species is listed as Least Concern, since it has not declined by more than 25% in the last ten years, its European extent of Occurrence (EOO) is larger than 20,000 km² and its population size is probably larger than 10,000 adult individuals.
1996 Endangered
1994 Endangered (Groombridge 1994)
1990 Endangered (IUCN 1990)
1988 Endangered (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)
1986 Endangered (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1986)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Only occurs on Corsica and Sardinia. Its elevational range is between 400-1,500 m. This is a European endemic species.
France (Corsica); Italy (Sardegna)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: A local species, restricted to (semi-) natural areas.
Population Trend: Increasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The Corsican Swallowtail is a butterfly of open, grassy slopes, often with some scattered rocks and bushes and of slopes with low-growing scrub. Just as the Swallowtail, P. machaon, these butterflies show hill-topping behaviour, the males assembling on hilltops or other prominent features in the landscape, waiting for the females to arrive. In Corsica, they are found on three different foodplants, Giant Fennel (Ferula communis), Ruta corsica and Peucedanum paniculatum, different populations being strictly bound to one type of foodplant. However, in Sardinia, the caterpillars are only found on Giant Fennel (Ferula communis). The Corsican Swallowtail has one generation a year and hibernates in the pupal stage. On Corsica reported to do well after forest fires. Habitats: heath and scrub (16%), sclerophyllous scrub (16%), phrygana (16%), dry calcareous grasslands and steppes (16%), dry siliceous grasslands (16%), alpine and subalpine grasslands (16%).
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: All butterflies are collected to some extent, but only for the extremely rare species it can be a problem and the trade in Europe is generally at a low level compared to other continents. There is no specific trade information for this species.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is not believed to face major threats at the European level.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species is listed on the Habitats Directive Annexes 2 and 4, Bern Convention Annex 2 and CITES Appendix I. This species occurs in a number of protected areas across its range. No specific conservation actions are needed at a European level. In France and Italy, not all populations are in Natura 2,000 areas.

Citation: van Swaay, C., Wynhoff, I., Verovnik, R., Wiemers, M., López Munguira, M., Maes, D., Sasic, M., Verstrael, T., Warren, M. & Settele, J. 2010. Papilio hospiton. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 30 May 2015.
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