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Also known as the Sail Swallowtail or Pear-tree Swallowtail.
Named Scarce Swallowtails because of their relative scarcity in the U.K.
Scarce Swallowtails are protected by law in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, Russia, Ukraine and Poland.
They are considered rare and endangered, and protected in some provinces of Austria, and of indeterminate status throughout Europe.
In Armenia the species demonstrates stable population trend and is evaluated as Least Concern.
They prefer foothills and lower areas, although they are found in elevations to 2,000 m. in alpine areas. They prefer woods, fields and gardens in towns and in rural areas. (They are often found in Sloe thickets and particularly orchards.)
They are a large distinctive butterfly that has a slow, floating flight pattern.The background color of the wings is creamy white or pale yellow.
On the front wings there are six tiger stripes and wedge-shaped markings. At the outer edge of the hind wings there are blue crescent markings, with an oblong, orange spot at the back corner and a relatively long tail.
When the wings are open, they display several long and black tiger stripes in knife-like patterns on a creamy white base. The borders of the hind wings are lined with several inverted crescent moon-like blue markings including the long tail-like protrusion at the end of the two wings. There are also two orange-yellow spots almost in the middle of the secondary wings. When the wings are closed, they display an identical pattern scheme in both the male and the female.
The chrysalises are found in two colors, brown and green. This is for camouflage, to hide themselves among the brown tree branches and green leaves.
The summer pupae are always green, and the winter ones, always brown, eventually enter a phase of hibernation before fluttering out as butterflies.
There are 4 Subspecies of this butterfly.
Diet: Caterpillars favorite host plant is the blackthorn (Prunus spinosa)
Diet: adults take flower nectar from assorted plants
Wingspan: 6 –8 cm / 2.4–3.1" in males, of 6 – 9 cm / 2.4 – 3.5 " females
The single biggest threat to butterfly survival is habitat destruction!!
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