Papilio antimachus (African Giant Swallowtail)

Papilio antimachus, also called African Giant Swallowtail is a butterfly from Afrotropic ecozone (Africa). The first description was in 1782 by Drury. The wingspan is about 20 – 21 cm. This butterfly is a member of the family PAPILIONIDAE. The basic colour of Papilio antimachus is brown and red. The fore wings are very longish.

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 antimachus (African Giant Swallowtail). Papilio antimachus is a member of the family PAPILIONIDAE from Afrotropic ecozone (Africa).


The fore wings are brown and very longish. At the wing leading edge there is a red area which contains two dark-brown spots. In the middle of the wing there are two chains of big, red spots.
The underside of Papilio antimachus is bicolour. The outer part is yellow. The inner part isblack and contains red and yellow spots.

The hind wings of Papilio antimachus are red . The edge is wavy and brown. In the middle of the wing are some brown spots.  
The underside is very similar to the upside. But, the basic colour is yellow. 

The body (abdomen) is yellow. The thorax and the head are black and they have yellow spots.

Sex differences: None



Papilio antimachus is a butterfly from the Afrotropic (Africa) ecozone. You can observe this butterfly from Ivory Coast until Sudan and Angola.

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

Larval food


General information

The first description of this butterfly was in 1782 by Drury. There is only one subspecies.

Protection provisions / Red List

Similar and closely-related species


Scientific name

Papilio antimachus Drury 1782  

Other names

African Giant Swallowtail

Classification / Taxonomy / Family tree

To family tree (Genus: PAPILIO)...    




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Back to family Papilionidae from AFROTROPIC (AFRICA)


Apatura iris
Inachis io
Nymphalis antiopa
Apatura iris
Vanessa atalanta
Papilio machaon
Pierides sp.
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