Papilio ophidicephalus (Emperor Swallowtail)

Papilio ophidicephalus, also called Emperor Swallowtail is a butterfly from Afrotropic ecozone (Africa). The first description was in 1878 by Oberthür. The wingspan is about 11 – 13 cm. Papilio ophidicephalus is a member of the family PAPILIONIDAE. The basic colour of this butterfly is brown. Yellow spots and bands dominate the wings.



Photos for easy identification

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 some photos of Papilio ophidicephalus (Emperor Swallowtail). Papilio ophidicephalus is a member of the family PAPILIONIDAE from Afrotropic ecozone (Africa).


Description

The fore wings are dark-brown. In the middle of the wing there is a chain of large, yellow spots. At the outer edge there is a chain of little, yellow spots. At the front edge there are two little, yellow spots.
The underside of Papilio menestheus is very similar to the upside. But, next to the body there are additional, yellow lines.

The hind wings of Papilio menestheus are dark-brown and they have tails. The edge is wavy. In the middle of the wing there is a yellow band. At the outer edge there is a chain of yellow spots. Two big eye-spots dominate the wing. 
The underside is very similar to the upside. But, next to the body there are additional, yellow lines.

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

Sex differences: None.


Distribution

Papilio ophidicephalus is a butterfly from the Afrotropic (Africa) ecozone. You can observe this butterfly from Kenya until Mozambique.

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

Larval food

Rutaceae:

General information

The first description of this butterfly was in 1878 by Oberthür. There are nine subspecies.

Protection provisions / Red List

Similar and closely-related species

Papilio lormieri Distant 1874 (Central Emperor Swallowtail)

Papilio menestheus Drury 1773 (Western Emperor Swallowtail)


Scientific name

Papilio ophidicephalus Oberthür 1878


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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