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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 Pamela Vinton.
Also known as the Ulysses, the Blue Emperor or the Blue Mountain butterfly.
Papilio ulysses, otherwise known as the Ulysses swallowtail, gets its name from the character Ulysses, or Odysseus of Greek mythology. He is one of the most famous figures in Greek literature and is the protagonist of Homer’s epic poem, the Odyssey.
The differences between the female and male are subtle from a distance, but if you get the chance to see these butterflies up close, they are easily recognizable. If you observe their ventral wing sides, you will notice the females have little blue moon-like (crescent) shapes on their wings, while those of the males are completely black.
There are also slight variations in the hues of their blue colors and the amount of it covering the wings.
While adult butterflies lack camouflage when flying (they are camouflaged when resting with wings closed), the caterpillars have excellent camouflage. They are green with white spots, so they blend in very well with the plants they are feeding on.
They mate year round, with some seasons having higher populations than others. You can generally spot them year round.
Male Ulysses butterflies are strongly attracted to the color blue, often flying towards blue objects, hoping they have spotted a female.
When Papilio ulysses reach the adult butterfly stage of their life cycle, they only live for about 2 to 3 weeks, with some lucky ones getting up to a week more.
Diet: the caterpillar of the Ulysses butterfly feeds on the leaves of plants
Diet: adult butterflies feed on nectar.
Avg. wingspan: approximately 10 - 12 cm / 4 - 5 ".
*The color of Papilio ulysses, as with all blue butterflies, is produced by the microscopic structure of the scales refracting light to create the blue coloration. This is called structural coloration. (Blue pigmentation does not exist in butterflies.)
The single biggest threat to butterfly survival is habitat destruction!!
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