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Butterfly populations are a very good indicator of the health of an area's ecosystem !!
Images contributed by U.K
photographer Bill Edwards.
Also known as the the Old World Swallowtail, Common Yellow Swallowtail or simply the Swallowtail.
This species is named after Machaon, a figure in Greek mythology who was a son of Asclepius.
Swallowtails are the UK's largest resident butterfly.
Males and females have a similar appearance. Swallowtails (Papilio machaon) have yellow wings with black vein markings.
They have a powerful gliding flight and are capable of covering large distances.
When taking nectar they keep their wings constantly fluttering to prevent the weight of their bodies from dragging down the fragile flowers.
The elongated tails and orange markings create the image of a false head on the other end of the butterflies body from the real head.
Birds usually attack the false head allowing the butterfly to survive.
They are found from Russia to China and Japan, (including the Himalayas and Taiwan), and across into Alaska, Canada, and the United States.
(They are not restricted to the Old World, despite the common name.)
In Asia, they are reported being seen as far south as Saudi Arabia, Oman, the mountains of Yemen, Lebanon, Iran and Israel.
In southern Asia, they occur in Pakistan and
Kashmir, northern India (Sikkim, to Assam, and Arunachal Pradesh), Nepal, Bhutan, and northern Myanmar.
There are 2-3 generations per year.
Wingspan: 70 - 80 mm / 7cm – 8cm / 2.75 – 3.15”
The single biggest threat to butterfly survival is habitat destruction!!
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