Papilio zenobia (Zenobia Swallowtail)

Papilio zenobia, also called Zenobia Swallowtail is a butterfly from Afrotropic ecozone (Africa). The first description was in 1775 by Fabricius. The wingspan is about 10 – 11 cm. This butterfly is a member of the family PAPILIONIDAE. The basic colour of Papilio zenobia is black. Yellowish bands and 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 zenobia (Zenobia Swallowtail) (male above / female below). Papilio zenobia is a member of the family PAPILIONIDAE from Afrotropic ecozone (Africa).


The fore wings are black. In the middle of the wing there is a broad, yellowish band. At the wing-tip there is a yellowish spot.
The underside of Papilio zenobia is very similar to the upside. But, the basic colour is darkbrown. The veins are black.

The hind wings of Papilio zenobia are black. The edge is wavy. A very broad, yellowish band dominates the wing.  
The underside is brown. Next to the body there is a red area with black spots and stripes. In the middle of the wing there is a yellowish band with black veins and stripes. 

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

Sex differences: ---


Papilio zenobia is a butterfly from the Afrotropic (Africa) ecozone. You can observe this butterfly from Sierra Leone until the Republic of the Congo.

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

Larval food


General information

The first description of this butterfly was in 1775 by Fabricius. There are no subspecies.

Protection provisions / Red List

Similar and closely-related species

Papilio cynorta Fabricius 1793

Papilio echerioides Trimen 1868

Papilio plagiatus Aurivillius 1898

Scientific name

Papilio zenbia Fabricius 1775  

Other names

Zenobia 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
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Papilio machaon
Pierides sp.
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