Also known as the King Swallowtail
This is a large, strong butterfly.
Like most swallowtails, it hovers like a hummingbird to take nectar from flowers rather than landing, as most butterflies do.
Males are frequently seen on river beaches, dry river beds, damp sunny tracks and other places where they can drink minerals from moisture. They can be seen singly, but seem to prefer small groups of about 4-6, among clusters of Pierids such as Phoebis, Aphrissa & Rhabdodryas.
When feeding at flowers, the fore wings are constantly fluttering, a trait of most Papilioninae wherever in their range they are found.
These butterflies prefer to mate in the late afternoon, and mating pairs will often be seen on the same leaf, with their wings overlapping as they mate.
(Remember that when you see a butterfly known as a Thoas Swallowtail, referred to as a Papilio thoas, you’re looking at the same species that some refer to as a Heraclides thoas.)
Avg. Wingspan: 100 - 130 mm / 3.9 - 5.1"
Diet: larvae feed on plants in the Rutaceae family including Citrus sap.
Diet: adults feed on nectar from a variety of flowers including Lantana and Bougainvilla.
Kingdom: Animalia, Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta, Order: Lepidoptera