Papilio demodocus (Citrus butterfly, Orange Dog, Christmas Butterfly)

Papilio demodocus, also called Citrus Butterfly, Orange Dog or Christmas Butterfly is a very common butterfly from Afrotropic ecozone (Africa). The first description was in 1798 by Esper. The wingspan is about 9.0 – 11.0 cm. The Citrus Butterfly is a member of the family PAPILIONIDAE. The butterfly is black with yellow bands and spots on wings. Hind wings have no tails.


Photos for easy identification

Photo © by Thomas Neubauer
Photo © by Thomas Neubauer
Photo © by Thomas Neubauer
Photo © by Thomas Neubauer

These are nice photos of Papilio demodocus (Citrus butterfly, Orange Dog, Christmas Butterfly). Papilio demodocus is a member of the family PAPILIONIDAE from Afrotropic ecozone (Africa).


Description

The forewings are black. At the margin there are two chains of little yellow spots. In the middle of wing there is a chain of big yellow spots. At the wing leading edge there are some big yellow spots. Nearby the body there is a yellow pollinate area.
The underside is a copy of upside, but there are some yellow lines nearby the body.

The hind wings are black and have no tails. The margin is ridged. At the margin there are two chains of little yellow spots. In the middle of wing there is a broad yellow band, which contains one big black and blue eye. In back there is a blue, black and red eye.
The underside is copy of upside, but there is an extra chain of blue and brown spots. Furthermore there is a big black blue and brown spot in the middle of wing and some yellow lines nearby the body.  

The body is black, but the underside is yellow.

Sex differences: None.


Distribution

The Citrus Butterfly (Papilio demodocus) is a butterfly of the Afrotropic ecozone (Africa). The distribution is extend from Senegal, Somalia, Yemen and Oman to South Africa.


This world map shows the ecozones in which this butterfly is distributed.

Larval food

Rutaceae:

Umbelliferae:

Rhamnaceae:

General information

The first description of this butterfly was in 1798 by Esper. There are only one subspecies.

The very common Citrus Butterfly is a vermit for all plantation of citrus. The caterpillar is green with a band of dummy eyes. It can reach a length of about 4.5 cm. The Ichneumon fly Pteromalus puparun can parasitise the caterpillar. The Ichneumon fly Ooencyrtus can parasitise the eggs.
The pupa is brown. This species overwinter as pupa.


Photo © by Naturhistorisches Museum Wien; photographer Thomas Neubauer
Photo © by Naturhistorisches Museum Wien; photographer Thomas Neubauer
Photo © by Naturhistorisches Museum Wien; photographer Thomas Neubauer
Photo © by Naturhistorisches Museum Wien; photographer Thomas Neubauer

Here you can see the subspecies Papilio demodocus bennetti Dixey 1898 from Yemen.


Protection provisions / Red List

Similar and closely-related species

Papilio demoleus Linnaeus 1758 (Lime Butterfly) AUSTRALASIA / INDOMALAYA 

Papilio erithonioides Grose-Smith 1891  

Papilio grosesmithi Rothschild 1926 


Scientific name

Papilio demodocus Esper 1798


Synonym

 Citrus Butterfly, Orange Dog, Christmas Butterfly
 Zitrus Schwalbenschwanz


Classification / Taxonomy / Family tree

To family tree (Genus: PAPILIO)...   


Ecozone

AFROTROPIC (Africa)

 

To the top

Back to family Papilionidae from AFROTROPIC (AFRICA)

 

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