The purpose of this ongoing work is to document Indra Swallowtail geographic variation by delineating the ranges of the races (filling in the gaps) and locating zones of intergradation. Also I have studied the butterfly's biology, especially its Larval Food Plant (LFP) requirements. This is basic before meaningful DNA work should begin. Also the study of introgression patterns in zones of intergradation may shed insight into the genetics of wing pattern polymorphism in this highly plastic species.
Shown here are the 12 subspecies presently recognized within the Indra Swallowtail complex. Each of the subspecies will be indicated later.
The paramount question is, Why is sub-speciation in Indra Swallowtails so tremendous compared to other members of the North American machaon complex with similar ranges, in particular P. zelicaon? That question should be addressed in the near future.