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Citrus Swallowtail

Papilio demodocus


large butterfly that is always on the move from flower to flower. One's first impression is of black and pale yellow but there are blue and red 'eyes' on the top and lower sides of the rear wings.


common in the garden especially when there are flowers about but also attracted by the orange trees which are favoured for egg laying (caught in the act-photo 5). Semi arid tree/bush savannah with summer rainfall.


The eggs are laid singly which results in a widely spread population of caterpillars which are not a problem on mature citrus trees in the garden but young saplings can be defoliated by half a dozen caterpillars (possibly commercial citrus growers might disagree with these sentiments).

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Spotted by

Lephalale Local Municipality, Limpopo, South Africa

Spotted on Nov 24, 2012
Submitted on Dec 18, 2012

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