Pale Green Triangle Butterfly
PAPILIONIDAE , PAPILIONOIDEA
This species is probably named after Eurypylus of Ancient Greece, quoted in the Aeneid as bringing a dire message to the Greeks in their war with Troy.
These Caterpillars start life as white, yellow, or greenish round eggs which are laid singly on the new shoots of a food plant. They are often found feeding on plants in the family ANNONACEAE, such as:
as well as
However we found that the caterpillar failed to flourish on the Custard Apple.
The caterpillars are black at first with a pale yellow forked tail. They are rather kite-shaped, being hump-backed in the thoracic region, and tapering rearwards from the metathorax.
As they grow they become brown and later green.
The metathorax develops a spike each side, which in later instars is dark blue. A pair of dark spikes also develop on the head. A white set of flaps develop along the sides, like a white skirt. When disturbed, the caterpillar everts a transparent pale yellow osmeterium, and produces a strong aromatic odour. The caterpillar grows to a length of about 4 cms.
The pupa has a blunt thoracic horn, and is pale green with rows of darker green dots along each side. It has a length of about 2.5 cms.
The adult is black with pale turquoise patches and spots. The underside also has some red spots. The males have a tuft of white hair across the inner margin of each hindwing.
The butterfly has a wingspan of about 6 cms.
Races of this species are found throughout south-east Asia, including
and several subspecies have been recognised in Australia including:
Butterflies of this species may be purchased for release at weddings etc.
Further reading :
Michael F. Braby,
Butterflies of Australia,
CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 1, pp. 260-262.
Volume 1, Edition 10 (1760), Class 5, Part 3, p. 464, No. 37.
Lionel Walter Rothschild,
A revision of the Papilios of the eastern hemisphere, exclusive of Africa,
Volume 2, Part 3 (1895), p. 430, and also Plate 6.
(updated 11 November 2009, 4 November 2016)