(previously known as Pachliopta polydorus)
PAPILIONIDAE , PAPILIONOIDEA
(Photo: courtesy of Wes Jenkinson)
This species was probably named after one of the famous ancient Greeks named Polydorus.
The Caterpillar of this species is a mottled brown colour, with rows of red and yellow fleshy tubercles. It feeds on vines from the family ARISTOLOCHIACEAE, including :
The eggs are laid on a leaf of a foodplant, and also sadly on the introduced
Caterpillars feeding on the leaves of this plant die, because it is poisonous to them, as it is to caterpillars of Troides richmondia and Cressida cressida.
It is now an important project in the conservation of these Australian butterfly species to try to eliminate occurrences of
The pupa is white mottled with brown. It has a concave back, and a row of flanges along each side. The pupa has a length of about 3 cms.
The wings of the adults are black with white patches, and have a span of about 9 cms. The hind wings have some red spots near the margin. These spots appear to mimic other Australian Swallowtails.
The underside is similar, except that the underside of the abdomen is scarlet.
The species occurs as several subspecies over the south-west Pacific, including
The subspecies queenslandicus (Rothschild, 1895) occurs in Australia in
Further reading :
Michael F. Braby,
Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 1, pp. 279-280.
(updated 30 January 2010)