Official Pest Reports

Official Pest Reports are provided by National Plant Protection Organizations within the NAPPO region. These Pest Reports are intended to comply with the International Plant Protection Convention's Standard on Pest Reporting, endorsed by the Interim Commission on Phytosanitary Measures in March 2002.

USA Flag Lime Swallowtail (Papilio demoleus) detected in the municipality of Guanica, Puerto Rico
Date posted: 12/14/2006
Contact: Not available
In June 2006, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service – Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) survey officials collected specimens of the Lime Swallowtail, Papilio demoleus L. (Lepidoptera: Papilionidae) during a residential survey in the Municipality of Guanica, Puerto Rico. USDA’s Systematic Entomology Laboratory (SEL) confirmed the identification. This detection represents the third such find of this Asian citrus pest within the Western Hemisphere. The first confirmed detection occurred in the Dominican Republic and was reported by the APHIS’ Offshore Pest Information System (OPIS) in 2004. A subsequent OPIS report included information from University researchers on an unconfirmed sighting of P. demoleus in the Municipality of Guanica, Puerto Rico, prompting more focused survey in that area; this resulted in the confirmed detection of lime swallowtail in Puerto Rico. More recently, a December 2006 OPIS report helped to confirm new country detection of lime swallowtail in Jamaica.

The larvae feed primarily on young citrus nursery trees and new growth flushes on mature trees. The pest is not associated with citrus fruit and there are no citrus production areas within proximity of the detection site. The literature on this pest also reports several non-Rutaceous host plants, including Annona squamosa (sugar apple), Cullen spp. (scurfpea), Psoralea pinnata (fountain bush), and Ziziphus mauritiana (Indian jujube).

While evaluating the risk posed to the rest of the United States by this pest, PPQ will direct domestic survey specialists in Puerto Rico and Florida to survey for lime swallowtail as part of existing detection surveys. Efforts will be increased for inspection of passenger baggage and cargo on flights destined for the continental United States. Additionally, PPQ will gather and evaluate control measures for this pest.