Papilio hesperus (Emperor Swallowtail)

Papilio hesperus, also called Emperor Swallowtail is a butterfly from Afrotropic ecozone (Africa). The first description was in 1843 by Westwood. The wingspan is about 12 – 13 cm. This butterfly is a member of the family PAPILIONIDAE. The basic colour of Papilio hesperus is black. Big, yellow spots dominate the wings.



Photos for easy identification

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

Here you can see some photos of Papilio hesperus (Emperor Swallowtail). Papilio hesperus is a member of the family PAPILIONIDAE from Afrotropic ecozone (Africa).


Description

The fore wings are black. Some big, yellow spots dominate the wing.
The underside of Papilio hesperus is very similar to the upside. But, the basic colour of the wing tip is brown.

The hind wings of Papilio hesperus are black and they have tails. The edge is wavy. Next to the body there is a yellow band. At the outer edge there is a chain of yellow spots.  
The underside is very similar to the upside. But, the basic colour is brown. The yellow spots at the edge of the wing and the band are darker than on the upside.

The body (abdomen) is black. The thorax and the head are black. The underside of all parts is brown.

Sex differences: ---


Distribution

Papilio hesperus is a butterfly from the Afrotropic (Africa) ecozone. You can observe this butterfly from Nigeria until Zambia and Tanzania.

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

Larval food

Lauraceae:

General information

The first description of this butterfly was in 1843 by Westwood. There are two subspecies.

There are many forms.

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

Here you can see the form Papilio hesperus f additionis.

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

Here you can see the Variation Papilio hesperus v kassaiensis.


Protection provisions / Red List

Similar and closely-related species

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Scientific name

Papilio hesperus Westwood 1843


Other names

Emperor Swallowtail


Classification / Taxonomy / Family tree

To family tree (Genus: PAPILIO)...    


Ecozone

AFROTROPIC (Africa)

 

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Back to family Papilionidae from AFROTROPIC (AFRICA)

 

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