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Papilio machaon

Papilio machaon
Photo Information
Copyright: Harm Alberts (Harm-digitaal) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 110 W: 7 N: 1968] (7604)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-08-05
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon EOS 300D, Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L USM Macro
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): European Butterflies 6 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-08-25 1:29
Viewed: 3164
Points: 14
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Papilio machaon / Swallowtail / Schwalbenschwanz / Koninginnepage / Le machaon.

This striking butterfly is yellow with black wing and vein markings and a wingspan of 8 to 10 cms. The hind wings of both sexes have a pair of protruding tails which give the butterfly its common name. Just below each tail is a red eye spot.

The Swallowtail is present throughout the entire Palearctic region through Russia to China and Japan (including the Himalayas and Taiwan) and across into Alaska and Canada. In Asia it is reported as far South as certain oases in Saudi Arabia and Oman and the high mountains of Yemen.

In South Asia it occurs in Pakistan (Baluchistan, NorthWeste Frontier Province, Chitral), Northern India (Jammu and Kashmir to Sikkim, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh) Nepal, Bhutan and northern Myanmar.

This butterfly is widespread in Europe but is limited to a few areas in the Norfolk Broads of East Anglia in the United Kingdom where it is the UK's largest resident butterfly (the Monarch Danaus plexippus being slightly larger but only a rare vagrant).

Often common and not threatened as a species.
Not Rare in India.
It is listed as 'Vulnerable' in South Korea and the Austrian Red Data Book, and, also in the Red Data Book of the erstwhile Soviet Union.

The Swallowtail is protected by law in the following countries :
-Papilio machaon machaon is protected by law in six provinces of Austria, Czechoslovakia and Hungary.
-UK (subspp brittanicus occurs in the UK but the law covers all subspecies).
-India (subspp verityi).

At lower elevations these butterflies fly from March to September. At higher elevations the butterflies are limited by the short summer seasons.

The brittanicus subspecies of Papilio machaon is less mobile than its European continental counterpart and stays within or close by it's fenland habitat.

Life cycle and foodplants
There are usually two to three broods in a year, but in northern areas the species may be single-brooded. In some places like the UK some will pupate and emerge in the same year and others will overwinter as pupae before emerging the following year a situation known as being partially double brooded.

Females lay eggs singly on plants of the umbeliferae family.

The Swallowtail caterpillar spends the first part of its life with the appearance of a bird dropping, an effective defence against predators. As the caterpillar grows larger it becomes green with black and orange markings. The caterpillar still has a defence against predators in the form of an organ called an osmeterium which consists of retractable, fleshy projections behind its head that can release a foul smell.
Plants of family Umbelliferae.



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Critiques [Translate]

wonderfull macro photo, nice composition and good sharpness , anc wonderfull color

Hello Harm,

Very nice capture with great colors and sharpness,
well done

Hi Harm,
Beautiful photo with the composition and color being excellent. Very well captured.


Hello Harm,
Very good image; sharpness, compo, exposure, beautiful subject, etc....all okay!

Hi Harm,
Great capture! Exuberant butterfly!
Very nice colors, sharpness and POV.
Congratulations for the wealth of details.
Well done!
My best regards!
José Roberto

Hello Harm,
This is brilliant photo with colors, sharpnes and composition.

Salut Harm

Belle composition, exposition et merveilleux point de vu. J'adore. Le papillon est très sharp aussi.

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