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Papilio demoleus - the Lime Butterfly | by BugsAlive
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Papilio demoleus - the Lime Butterfly

Kbal Spean, Siem Reap, Cambodia


Order : Lepidoptera

Family : Papilionidae

Subfamily : Papilioninae

Genus : Papilio

Species : Papilio demoleus malayanus


This tailless beauty is one of the world's most widespread swallowtails thanks to its particular adaptabilty to different habitat and climatic conditions. However, the species originated from the tropical and subtropical Austro-Asiatic region and is therefore commonly found from India, through the SE Asian countries, to China and Australia. It is a medium-large butterfly with a wingspan of 60-80mm and strongly resembles the African species Papilio demodocus but they are not closely related.

Habitat is gardens, parks, and other open spaces, particularly where there are citrus trees, up to around 2000m asl. They are not found so much in forest habitats which is why I don't see them very often during my visits to Thailand. They are strong and rapid fliers and only rarely stop flapping their wings, even when nectaring on flowers. They do however bask with their wings wide open, especially in the early morning. The adults fly all year round and are multivoltine. As well as Citrus aurantifolia , larval foodplants include Zizyphus mauritiana (Rhamnaceae) Psoralea corylifolia (Fabaceae), Limonia acidissima, and Citrus medica (Rutaceae) , plus many others. The lifecycle from egg to adult is relatively short at 24-26 days. Because of the caterpillar's voracious appetite they are considered a pest in some commercial fruit growing areas.


All my insect pics are single, handheld shots of live insects in wild situations.

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Taken on February 15, 2014