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Purple Spotted Swallowtail

Graphium weiskei ssp. weiskei


Graphium weiskei, the Purple Spotted Swallowtail, which is found only in the highlands of New Guinea, is a butterfly of the swallowtail family, Papilionidae. These swallowtails live in elevations of 4,500 to 8,000 feet (1,400 to 2,400 m). This one was seen around 6,400 m flying along a stream where it stopped for a few seconds to feed. This is the more rare blue version, the one that is more common is bright pinkish purple where the 2 blue patches near the body are. (See: https://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/20..., 2nd photo) The name honours the collector Emil Weiske.


Beside a stream in the Highlands of West Papua, surrounded by Primary montane rainforest.


Normally I won't touch a butterfly, even to get a photo of the upper wing, but someone else requested the guide to hold this one, and it was so spectacular, I couldn't resist taking a photo. It was only held less than a minute and happily flew away when released. But it still pains me to see it.

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pamsai 9 months ago

Thanks Rob, I didn't mean to overlook you ! Twice !

pamsai 9 months ago

Yes Greyson Smida, these butterflies fly up high and it gets pretty cold sometimes at night so they are quite hairy...

Greyson Smida
Greyson Smida 9 months ago

Extremely stunning colors! It also seems to be very fuzzy.

pamsai 9 months ago

thank you AntonioGinjaGinja. Yes, amazing colours. The underwing is just as spectacular, yet completely different.

Fantastic captures Pam,the colours are unreal :-) congrats on the well deserved SOTD and thanks for sharing

DanielePralong 9 months ago

You're welcome Pam. It's really special! The second shot of your other spotting of it shows the upper side quite nicely too.

pamsai 9 months ago

Thanks Daniele for SOTD. I almost didn't post this one as I never touch the butterflies and it hurts me to see the butterfly held like that. But someone else requested the guide for an upper wing shot and it was so spectacular I couldn't not take a photo. It was released in a minute and happily flew away.

triggsturner 9 months ago

Congrats Pam. This really is a stunning butterfly.

DanielePralong 9 months ago

Another unique dazzler! Congratulations Pam, your Purple Spotted Swallowtail is our Spotting of the Day:

We return to West Papua today, with this rather incredible looking New Guinea highlands endemic Purple Spotted Swallowtail (Graphium weiskei) as our Spotting of the Day! This species shows a unique combination of iridescent colors including purples and blues. Most images found online for this species are of collected specimens, and there are few pictures of live wild individuals. Shown here is the subspecies Graphium weiskei weiskei.
Spotted by pamsai. For more images and notes:
Pamsai recently returned from West Papua with spottings of several rare and spectacular butterfly species. Check out her collection here: https://buff.ly/2DhucU6



triggsturner 9 months ago

Another beauty Pam!

Spotted by

Papua, Indonesia

Lat: -3.83, Long: 138.78

Spotted on Oct 3, 2018
Submitted on Nov 30, 2018

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