(one synonym : Papilio diocippus Cramer, 1775)
NYMPHALINAE, NYMPHALIDAE, PAPILIONOIDEA
The Caterpillars of this species are black and covered in branched hairs. They feed on a variety of plants, including:
Christmas Island, 1987
French Territory of the Afars and the Issas, 1975
The adult butterflies are dimorphic. The males and females have entirely different colours and patterns.
The males are black with large white patches surrounded by iridescent purple. Their wingspan extends to about 6 cms.
Cape Verde, 1982
Burkina Faso, 1984
The female butterflies are orange with wide black borders around the wings, and a white patch and a variable number of white spots in the black tips of the forewings. Their wingspan can extend to 7 cms.
Ascension Island, 1987,
The undersides of the males are brown with a broad white band across each wing.
The undersides of the females are similar to their upper surfaces.
The species occurs around the whole equatorial belt: Africa, south-east Asia, the Pacific Islands, North and South America, and the West Indies, including :
as well as the northern half of Australia, including
In the Americas and the West Indies, it is thought that the species was introduced, perhaps accidentally, from Africa in the slave ships.
Further reading :
Michael F. Braby,
Butterflies of Australia,
CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 569-570.
Description de Papillons Exotiques,
Uitlandsche kapellen voorkomende in de drie waereld-deelen,
Amsterdam Baalde, Volume 1 (1775), p. 44, and also Plate 28, figs. B, C..
Museum Siae Riae Mitis Ludovicae Ulricae Reginae,
1764, p. 264, No. 83.
(updated 18 November 2009, 14 March 2017)