Papilio machaon bairdii

Baird's Swallowtail

In California this much sought-after swallowtail is found only in the San Bernardino mountains, and does not appear to be doing well there lately. With good rains, it can have several broods in a year, but the long-term trend is definitely towards dryer years. Bairdii uses a host that is common enough: wild tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus), and it can be reared on anise or fennel.

Baird's Swallowtail - Papilio bairdii
This female Baird's Swallowtail is ovipositing on Wild Tarragon near Big Bear in San Bern. Co., July 2, 2006.
Baird's Swallowtail - Papilio bairdii
A worn male P. machaon bairdii on the same day as above; he was aggressively patrolling a mountaintop. I returned to the same mountaintop the next June but didn't see them.
Baird's Swallowtail - Papilio bairdii
Same male Papilio machaon bairdii taking a break.

©Dennis Walker