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Papilio xuthus

Papilio xuthus
Photo Information
Copyright: Alan Cassidy (accassidy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 162 W: 119 N: 596] (2454)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-11-13
Categories: Insects
Camera: Nikon D80, Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED AF-S VR, 72mm UV
Exposure: f/6.7, 1/500 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-02-02 8:25
Viewed: 5257
Points: 4
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Papilio xuthus xuthus Linnaeus, 1767
Japanese name: Ageha (Nami-ageha)
English name: Chinese yellow swallowtail (Citrus Swallowtail, Asian swallowtail)

Surprisingly, I can find only one previous image of P. xuthus on TN, and that was in a collage, so here is a full-size image of a japanese individual. The flight period of the Asian Swallowtail is usually quoted from May to August. So finding this one in November was something of a surprise. Clearly the habits are changing with the urban lifestyle. This picture was taken in a public garden in the Kyoto city area. The picture has been resized and sharpened as usual for TN.

Papilio xuthus, also called the Asian Swallowtail or Japanischer Schwalbenschwanz is a well-known butterfly from the Palaearctic ecozone (Asia). With a wingspan of 8.0 – 10.0 cm the Asian Swallowtail is a small member of the family PAPILIONIDAE. The butterfly is yellow and black. Hind wings have tails. The body is yellow with a small black strip on side and the upside is black. The female has more blue and orange scales than the male.

· TYPE LOCALITY.Kanton, China.
· RANGE. E.China - Taiwan, Korea, Ussuri, Amur, Japan, Hawaii. Taiwan Philippines (N.Luzon).
· DISTRIBUTION AND VARIATION. In mainland NE Asia, at least, seasonal dimorphism is well-marked: the spring generation, form xuthulus Bremer, 1861, though similar in appearance, is much smaller than summer specimens.
· HABITATS AND BIOLOGY. Sparse deciduous and mixed forests, cultivated and urban areas where the foodplants occur.


The caterpillar of P. xuthus is very similar to the caterpillar of the Spangle P. protenor. However, the color of the osmeterium of P. xuthus is orange yellow, and the color of the osmeterium of P. protenor is ruby red.
In its early instars, the caterpillar is white and brown and looks rather like a bird dropping. The late instars are lightgreen with brown spots.


Pupa can be green or brown. Pupation takes place after the larval duration of 2 weeks.

Food plants

The larvae of the species feed on plants of Family Rutaceae such as :- Cultivated Citrus species such as the Mandarin orange, theYuzu. The Japanese pepper tree
Zanthoxylum piperitum and the Japanese Prickly-ash Zanthoxylum ailanthoides

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Critiques [Translate]

Bonjour Alan
Une merveilleuse photo que ce Joli papillon,Très belle composition, les couleurs et le cadrage et les détails sont tous très bons.Très beau BG
Bravo et merci...JP

Hi Alan,
Beautiful picture, thanks. Ageha(Papilio xuthus) is very common butterfly in Japan. But it becomes rare in northern part of Japan, for example, in Hokkaido it is quite rare. The southernmost limit of its distribution is northern Burma(Myanmar), I have seen specimens of xuthus from there. Motoki

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