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Graphium (butterfly)

Graphium is a genus of mostly tropical swallowtail butterflies commonly known as swordtails, kite swallowtails, or ladies. Native to Eurasia, Africa, and Oceania, the genus is represented by over 100 species. Their colouration is as variable as the habitats they frequent; from rainforest to savannah. Some possess tails which may be long and swordlike, while others lack any hindwing extensions. Graphium species are often sighted at mud puddles.

Graphium macleayanus.jpg
Macleay's swallowtail (Graphium macleayanus)
Scientific classification

Scopoli, 1777

More than 100; see text

  • Zelima Fabricius, 1807
  • Arisbe Hübner, [1819]
  • Idaides Hübner, [1819]
  • Zetides Hübner, [1819]
  • Ailus Billberg, 1820
  • Chlorisses Swainson, [1832]
  • Semicudati Koch, 1860
  • Pathysa Reakirt, [1865]
  • Dalchina Moore, [1881]
  • Paranticopsis Wood-Mason & de Nicéville, 1887
  • Pazala Moore, 1888
  • Deoris Moore, [1903]
  • Klinzigia Niculescu, 1977 (nec Lehrer, 1970)
  • Klinzigiana Niculescu, 1989
  • Eurypyleana Niculescu, 1989
  • Macfarlaneana Niculescu, 1989
  • Munroana Niculescu, 1989
  • Wallaceana Niculescu, 1989

The more colourful species are popular with collectors and are commonly seen mounted in frames for sale. Well-known species include the tailed jay (Graphium agamemnon), common bluebottle (G. sarpedon), and the purple-spotted swallowtail (G. weiskei). One species, G. idaeoides, is notable for being a perfect mimic of the danainid Idea leuconoe.

Larvae feed variously on Annonaceae (most commonly), Magnoliaceae (commonly), Lauraceae (commonly), Rutaceae, Dioscoreaceae, Bombacaceae, Piperaceae, Anacardiaceae, Apocynaceae, Malpighiaceae, Hernandiaceae, Guttiferae, Monimiaceae, Pandanaceae, Winteraceae, and Euphorbiaceae.


Graphium caterpillar

Listed alphabetically:[1][2]

subgenus: Idaides

species group: codrus
species group: eurypylus
species group: wallacei

subgenus: Arisbe Hübner, [1819]

species group: antheus
species group: policenes
species group: angolanus
species group: leonidas
species group: tynderaeus
species group: philonoe
  • Graphium philonoe (Ward, 1873) – eastern white-lady swordtail, eastern graphium, white-dappled swallowtail
species group: adamastor

subgenus: Pathysa

species group: antiphates

subgenus: Paranticopsis Wood-Mason & de Nicéville, 1887

subgenus: Pazala Moore, 1888

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Graphium,
  2. ^ Woodhall, Steve (2005). Field Guide to Butterflies of South Africa. Cape Town, South Africa: Struik. ISBN 978-1-86872-724-7.
  3. ^ Global Names Index
  4. ^ Graphium mullah kooichii
  5. ^ Cotton, A.M. & Racheli, T. [2007] Preliminary Annotated Checklist of the Papilionidae of Laos with Notes on Taxonomy, Phenology, Distribution and Variation (Lepidoptera, Papilionoidea).Fragmenta Entomologica, Roma, 38(2): 279-378.
  6. ^ "A New Species of the Graphium (Pazala) mandarinus Group (Lepidoptera: Papilionidae) from Central Vietnam". Sarasaviya. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  • Smith, Campbell R. and Vane-Wright R.I., 2001 A review of the Afrotropical species of the genus Graphium (Lepidoptera: Rhopalocera: Papilionidae) Bulletin of the Natural History Museum Entomology Series Volume 70:503-719 online
  • Miller, L. D., and Miller, J. Y. (2004). The Butterfly Handbook, pp. 20–25, 52. Barron's Educational Series, Inc.; Hauppauge, New York. ISBN 0-7641-5714-0
  • Smart, P. (1976). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Butterfly World. ISBN 0-600-31381-6

External linksEdit

  • NHM Afrotropical Kite Swallowtails (broadly Subgenera Pazala and Arisbe)
  • Genus Graphium at