Papilio demoleus, lime butterfly, Papilionidae

The lime butterfly (Papilio demoleus)

Papilio demoleus malayanus or the lime butterfly is common in gardens and villages where Citrus (lime, lemon & orange) and Murraya koenigii (curry leave) plants are grown. The eggs are laid singly on young leaves and initially the larvae resemble bird-dropping and later become green. Papilio demoleus is widespread throughout south and southeast Asia, New Guinea and Australia.

Papilio demoleus, lime butterfly, Papilionidae

NIKON D300, AF-S Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8G ED, 1/125 sec, F/8, ISO 200

Papilio demoleus resting on bougainvillea, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia

Papilio demoleus, lime butterfly, Papilionidae

NIKON D300, AF-S Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8G ED, 1/250 sec, F/16, ISO 200, SB600 flash

Papilio demoleus resting on a ginger plant, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia

Papilio demoleus, lime butterfly, Papilionidae, Zinnia

NIKON D300, AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED, 1/250 sec, F/16, ISO 200, SB600 flash

Papilio demoleus feeding on a Zinnia elegans flower, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia

Papilio demoleus, lime butterfly, Papilionidae, courting

NIKON D200, AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED, 1/30 sec, F/16, ISO 100

A pair of Papilio demoleus courting, Klang, Malaysia

Papilio demoleus, lime butterfly, Papilionidae, mating

NIKON D300, AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED, 1/90 sec, F/16, ISO 200

A pair of Papilio demoleus mating, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia

Papilio demoleus, lime butterfly, Papilionidae, larvae

Camouflage of the Papilio larvae. Top: A young larva disguises itself as a bird-dropping on a lime leaf. Bottom: The larva later becomes green blending itself with the surrounding green curry leaves. When disturbed, the larva extrude a red forked process known as osmeterium to deter predators.

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