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Dingy Swallowtail

Papilio anactus


A large butterfly skimming the tops of small eucalyptus. Estimated 70mm wingpsan.


Small suburban parkland.


Only very zoomed shots were possible (about 5 metres up the tree). Thanks Daniele for ID. Grape growing has encourage this endemic to go crazy. "For protection against predators, this non-poisonous butterfly mimics the poisonous male Cressida cressida, another swallowtail butterfly that obtains its toxic properties through its hostplant, the Dutchman's Pipe." - wikipedia

1 Species ID Suggestions

Dainty Swallowtail
Papilio anactus Papilio anactus

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Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 7 years ago

Great info thanks Martin.

MartinL 7 years ago

But since C. cressida does not occur in Victoria, there is very little protection down here. The birds, having not tasted the model have no reason to avoid the mimic. I've seen them circling on a hilltop chasing away other suitors including dragonflies while they await a passing female. Here is its larva on my faithful lime citrus.

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 7 years ago

Thanks Daniele.

DanielePralong 7 years ago

Please verify :-)

Mark Ridgway
Spotted by
Mark Ridgway

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Spotted on Nov 1, 2013
Submitted on Nov 16, 2013

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