Project Noah

Project Noah is a tool to explore and document wildlife and a platform to harness the power of citizen scientists everywhere.

Join Project Noah Today

Old World Swallowtail - Machaon

Papilio machaon


This beautiful Old World Swallowtail was encountered at the very top of its altitude range. This species can be found in alpine meadows and hillsides, and males practice 'hilltopping', where they congrate near summits to compete for passing females. This specimen, in good shape for late summer, was spotted alone. After warming up briefly it fast disappeared with the powerful flight typical of the species.


Short grass with rocks and gravel, alpine level alt. 2200 m ASL.


Wingspan up to 90 mm. Protected in several countries.

No species ID suggestions


DanielePralong 2 years ago

Thank you Nick!

NickKing 2 years ago

Great shot, it really stands out on that background too!

DanielePralong 3 years ago

Thanks Jim! That one made it easy by being still till it warmed up... they're usually restless!

Jim Nelson
Jim Nelson 3 years ago

I have chased many swallowtails to get a make it look easy, Daniele.

DanielePralong 4 years ago

Thanks Prashasti!

Nice capture !

DanielePralong 4 years ago

Thanks Dan!

dandoucette 4 years ago

Wow! Great spot!

DanielePralong 4 years ago

Thanks Charlie! I guess it really stands out against the rocks. Yes, they're tricky to photograph when they're active. Here it was high (coolish) and cloudy and it wasn't moving much. Very shortly after this shot was taken the sun came out and within a few seconds it hard warmed up and was gone :-)

CharliePrice 4 years ago

What a gorgeous species and so lucky to have spotted it , beautiful photograph...not easy to capture at times.... well done and thankyou for sharing.

DanielePralong 4 years ago

Thank you Chamalka!

Chamalka Dulmini
Chamalka Dulmini 4 years ago

wow beautiful!

DanielePralong 4 years ago

Thank you Dilan!

Dilan Chathuranga
Dilan Chathuranga 4 years ago

Colorful daniele.....!!

DanielePralong 4 years ago

Thank you Dr. Sherpa!

DrNamgyalT.Sherpa 4 years ago

Beautiful, Daniele!

Vaud, Switzerland

Lat: 46.50, Long: 7.14

Spotted on Sep 14, 2014
Submitted on Sep 17, 2014


Related spottings

The Common Mormon ♂ Papilio machaon lime butterfly -  Papilio demoleus Paris Peacock

Nearby spottings

Mountain Apollo Alpine chough Alpine ibex Alpine ibex