Parides burchellanus is considered a rare and threatened swallowtail species restricted to central Brazil. It shows considerable morphological similarity to Parides panthonus jaguarae, with which it shares both geographical range and larval host plant. At present, P. burchellanus and P. panthonus are believed to be distinct species, based on minor differences in male genitalia. In this study, the phylogenetic and systematic position of P. burchellanus in relation to three subspecies of P. panthonus (P. p. jaguarae, P. p. lysimachus and P. p. aglaope) was evaluated using molecular evidence: the complete sequence of the mtDNA genes COI and COII and of the nuclear gene EF-1α (c. 3300 bp). In addition, the informativeness of the ‘barcode’ region next to the 5′ end of COI (c. 650 bp) was evaluated for delimiting these taxa. Individual analysis by neighbour-joining, using Kimura 2-parameter distance model, and by maximum parsimony showed that P. p. jaguarae + P. p. lysimachus + P. p. aglaope + P. burchellanus form a strongly supported monophyletic clade, and all molecular regions consistently recovered P. p. jaguarae and P. burchellanus as sister species. The genetic divergence among the subspecies of P. panthonus and P. burchellanus is equivalent to the divergence among conspecifics of other species of Parides, and smaller than the interspecific divergence among different sister species of this genus. The results support the proposal that P. p. jaguarae and P. burchellanus are likely to be synonymous, and suggest that P. burchellanus can be considered conspecific with P. panthonus. The taxonomic classification of P. burchellanus should be revised on the basis of the molecular data.