A large yellow butterfly with black markings, and a medium length tail on the hindwing. There is a dark patch in the basal area of the wing. The antennae are black and hooked. Male and female are very similar. The wing shape is quite distinctive though could be confused with P. alexanor, which has a straight, white-tipped antennal club, and the black markings are stripes, without a black basal patch. The submarginal black stripe is narrower and without scalloping.
View wing venation diagram
Wing venation diagram by Gillian Elsom.
Found in a wide range of open habitats, e.g. gardens, grasslands, maquis and riverine environments.
Dill Anethum graveolens, Chervil Anthriscus cerefolium - not on Corfu, Coriander Coriandrum sativum, Fennel Foeniculum vulgare, Kumquat Citrus japonica (introduced) Lemon Citrus x limon (introduced) Grapefruit Citrus x paradisi (introduced) Orange Citrus x sinensis (introduced) Lime Citrus x aurantiifolia (introduced). Most commonly encountered on Fennel in Corfu.
Most frequently encountered nectaring, where the butterfly supports its weight with continuous flight above the flower. Usually seen as singletons, it is particularily easy to photograph/video on blooms of the Aromatic Inula Dittrichia vicosa, in the autumn.
Key to Seasons
Spring (Mar, Apr, May)
Summer (Jun, Jul, Aug)
Autumn (Sep, Oct, Nov)
Winter (Dec, Jan, Feb)
First and Last Sightings
These dates are based on verified sightings submitted via this website.
26th March 2019
5th October 2019
Years marked * based on external data.
Vernacular/Common Name: Swallowtail
Family: Papilionidae (Latreille, 1802)
Sub-family: Papilioninae (Latreille, )
Tribe: Papilionini (Latreille, )
Genus:Papilio (Linnaeus, 1758)
Species:machaon Linnaeus, 1758
Ghavalas, N. & J.G. Coutsis. 2018 Phegea 46 (1) 10-20.
Ghinis, S, Vojsava, G. Gkinis, S (2013) Butterflies of Corfu, Corfu Press.
Sutton P. G. (April 2012) A revised checklist of the butterflies (Rhopalocera) of Corfu (Kerkira) The Bulletin of the Amateur Entomologists’ Society, Volume 71, Number 501, 63 to 77.