Swallowtail

Papilio machaon Linnaeus, 1758

Status

Corfu Status: Present EU Red Data Status 2010: Least Concern

Description

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.

Habitat Requirements

Found in a wide range of open habitats, e.g. gardens, grasslands, maquis and riverine environments.

Larval Foodplants

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.

Observations

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.

Flight Times

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.

Year First Last
*2019 26th March 2019 5th October 2019

Years marked * based on external data.

Taxonomy

  • Vernacular/Common Name: Swallowtail
  • Family: Papilionidae (Latreille, 1802)
  • Sub-family: Papilioninae (Latreille, [1802])
  • Tribe: Papilionini (Latreille, [1802])
  • Genus: Papilio (Linnaeus, 1758)
  • Species: machaon Linnaeus, 1758

References

  • 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.