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Orchard Butterfly

Papilio aegeus


Wingspan male:- 102mm; female:- 108mm. Similar colours in the male and female but males have much more black on the wings. Two subspecies, of which both have three female polymorphic forms. This is the occurrence of different forms, stages or colour types, in organisms of the same species. Around the hindwings are small patches of red, on both sexes. Also has blue subterminal (coming nearly at the end) spots on the underside of the hindwings. Hindwings have a scalloped appearance.


Wet, lowland rainforest to dry rainforest (vine scrub) and Eucalypt woodland, inland of the Great Dividing Range. Found in suburban gardens and citrus orchards. Range has expanded to Victoria and South Australia, due to planting of cultivated and garden citrus trees. This Orchard Butterfly was seen at Gordonbrook Dam, outside Kingaroy, checking out a Bottlebrush flower.


Also known as:- Orchard Swallowtail; Large Citrus Butterfly. Of the Family Papilionidae. The flight of the Orchard Butterfly is usually slow and erratic, unless disturbed and then may become very rapid. In Queensland, these butterflies may fly all throughout the year but in New South Wales it may occur from October - May. When the butterfly settles, the wings are held outspread and are often vibrating. Females are normally seen fluttering around food plants, or feeding from flowers. Food plants may include:- Citrus (Citruswood); Boronia and Leopardwood, to name a few. When I see you around I tend to find That my life takes a rise Seems less tense, in my mind For to me you're so delicate So pretty and free And some of your freedom Penetrates into me. References:- Reader's Digest Great Illustrated Dictionary; Paul Zborowski and Ross Storey - A Field Guide To Insects In Australia; Patrick Honan - A Wild Australia Guide Butterflies & Moths; Michael F. Braby - The Complete Field Guide To Butterflies Of Australia (second edition) These photos have been edited.

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Single D
Spotted by
Single D

Wooroolin, Queensland, Australia

Spotted on Jan 22, 2018
Submitted on Sep 23, 2020

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