Papilio indra fordi

Ford's Indra Swallowtail

This small swallowtail was described from the Granite Mountains northeast of Apple Valley after a collector - Robert Ford - found them there in 1951 and knew that they were different. This isn't the only place to look for it, but it is the best-known. Fordi also flies in the Coxcomb Mountains in eastern-most Joshua Tree National Park, but that range is nearly inaccessible. They are in a few other nearby ranges, but to the east in the Providence Mountains we have subspecies martini.

Fordi use Cymopterus panamintensis var aucutifolius as the larval food plant, and I have heard that it strongly prefers this specific variety.

'Edwards' Indra Swallowtail - Papilio indra pergamus
Papilio indra fordi stopping for nectar in the Granite Mountains near Lucerne Valley in the Mojave desert. March 22, 2022.
Paper on the true type locality of Papilio indra pergamus
The description of fordi by John A. Comstock and Lloyd M. Martin is worth reading.

©Dennis Walker