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Monday, September 13, 2010

Great Mormon Swallowtail

Great Mormon SwallowtailThe Great Mormon Swallowtail { Papilio memnon }. Photographed at Kipandi Butterfly Park.


The Great Mormon Swallowtail { Papilio memnon } is a common South-Asian butterfly and is widely distributed in 13 subspecies (4 male and 9 female forms). This is a large butterfly with contrasting colors. The wingspan is 12 ~15 cm (4.7 ~ 5.9 inches). The male never has a tail, and is deep blue to black. It may or may not have red streak on the forewing. The female may be tailed (alcanor) or tailess (butlerianus, polymnestoroides). The upperside forewing is ground colour sepia with greyish white streak. The upperside hindwing is blue-black with 5 to 7 yellow or white discal patches. It is polymorphic and with mimetic forms. ( Excellent information is available on Wikipedia.)

This photo was taken at the Kipandi Butterfly Park, 36 km from Kota Kinabalu. It shows a male fluttering and tugging at the lantana. The butterfly and flower were vibrating quite vigorously.