February 18, 2014



Named after its penchant for citrus plants, the Lime Butterfly is a member of the swallow tail family. It is ironically though that it lacks a prominent tail. The wings measuring about 8 to 10 cm in size consist of irregular spots on a predominantly black background when from the upperside. The red tornal spot with blue edging is difficult to miss. However, it is the underside that I find particularly attractive as seen from the snaps. The pattern is like a maze of white and black with orange spots that have a distinct blue edge, visible only when you have a closer look. The tornal spot only adds to the beauty. It is a resident of the Arabian peninsula, the Indian sub-continent, China, Japan, parts of South East Asia, Australia and some Pacific islands. Owing to its excellent adaptability and high rate of reproduction, it is spreading into several islands in the Caribbean Sea. There are four other species of lime butterflies, three of which are endemic to Madagascar whereas the fourth is found in Sub-Saharan Africa. An interesting feature about the species is that its mode of flight differs as the day progresses. In the mornings, it will fly leisurely whereas the flight is straight and low in the later part of the day. When the weather is hot, it prefers resting on damp surfaces from where it derives moisture.


(1) Wikipedia: Papilo Demoleus (Link)