Papilio machaon (Swallowtail, Schwalbenschwanz, Le Grand Porte-queue)
Papilio machaon, also called Swallowtail or Schwalbenschwanz is a great butterfly from the . The first description was in 1758 by Linnaeus. With a wingspan of 6.5 – 7.5 cm the Swallowtail is one of the largest butterflies from Europe. It is a member of the family PAPILIONIDAE. The butterfly is yellow and black. Hind wings have tails. Papilio machaon has one of the largest distribution of PAPILINIDAE. In Holarctic (North Africa, Europe and Asia) it is distributed.
Photos for easy identification
These are nice photos of Papilio machaon (Swallowtail, Schwalbenschwanz, Le Grand Porte-queue). Papilio machaon is a member of the
The forewings are black and have a chain of small yellow spots at the margin. There is a chain of big yellow spots in the middle of the wing. On the wing leading edge there are three yellow spots. The big dark zone nearby the body is powdered by yellow scales.
The underside is a copy of upside, but there are some differences. All yellow areas are broader than upside. Therefore both chain of yellow spots are change to two yellow bands.
The hind wings are yellow and have tails. The margin is ridged. There is a black band going backwards with contain a chain of blue spots. At the beginnig of the black band there is a red eye. At the margin there is a chain of yellow spots. There is a little dark zone around the body. In the yellow area there is a little black strip.
The underside is yellow with black veins. There is no dark area, but the dark area from upside shows through the wing. The blue spots and the red eye are also there. Some of the blue spots have red eyeshadows.
The body is yellow with a small black strip on side and the upside is black.
Sex differences: None
The flight period of the Corsican Swallowtail is from April to October. In the North of Europe there is only one brood. In the South there are two to three broods.
The first description of this butterfly was in 1758 by Linnaeus. Because of the very large distribution, there are many subspecies.
- Papilio machaon aliaska [Scudder, 1869]
- Papilio machaon asiaticus [Ménétriés]
- Papilio machaon bairdii [Edwards, 1866] Western Black Swallowtail
- Papilio machaon baijangensis [Huang & Murayama]
- Papilio machaon centralis [Staudinger, 1886]
- Papilio machaon gorganus [Fruhstorfer, 1922]
- Papilio machaon hudsonianus [Clark, 1932]
- Papilio machaon kamtschadalus [Alpheraky, 1897]
- Papilio machaon ladakensis [Moore, 1884]
- Papilio machaon lapponica [Verity, 1911]
- Papilio machaon mauretanica [Verity, 1905]
- Papilio machaon oregonius [Edwards, 1876] Oregon Swallowtail
- Papilio machaon oreinus [Sheljuzhko, 1919]
- Papilio machaon orientis [Verity, 1911]
- Papilio machaon pikei [Sperling, 1987]
- Papilio machaon sachalinensis [Matsumura, 1911]
- Papilio machaon schapiroi [Seyer, 1976]
- Papilio machaon sylvinus [Hemming]
- Papilio machaon syriacus [Eller, 1939]
- Papilio machaon ussuriensis [Sheljuzhko, 1910]
- Papilio machaon verityi [Fruhstorfer, 1907]
- Papilio machaon weidenhofferi [Seyer, 1976]
The caterpillar is green with black strips and red spots. The pupa has a silken girdl. It is green or brown. This species overwinters as pupa.
Protection provisions / Red List
- CITES: (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora):
-no entry- (as at 23.06.2005)
- EU regulation on trading with species of wild Fauna and Flora
-no entry- (as at 19.08.2005)
- IUCN Red List of threatened species:
-no entry- (as at 2004) (see: www.redlist.org/)
- Red List of endangered species of Austria:
-endangered- (category 3)- (see: www.roteliste.at/)
- Regulation of the Viennese regional government:
-protected as imago- (see: www.wien.gv.at/recht/landesrecht-wien/rechtsvorschriften/html/l4800200.htm)
Similar and closely-related species
Papilio machaon Linnaeus 1758
Le Grand Porte-queue, Le Machaon
Classification / Taxonomy / Family tree
- Kingdom: ANIMALIA
- Phylum: ARTHROPODA
- Class: INSECTA
- Order: LEPIDOPTERA
- Suborder: DITRYSIA
- Superfamily: PAPILIONOIDEA
- Family: PAPILIONIDAE
- Subfamily: PAPILIONINAE
- Tribe: PAPILIONINI
- Genus: PAPILIO
- Specific name: MACHAON