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Papilio polytes

Papilio polytes, the common Mormon butterfly, is a common species of swallowtail butterfly widely distributed across Asia

And this chappy - or chappess - is really quite clever.

why?

  1. Have a look at it? if you were a bird or other predator, then you would leave it alone....as this butterfly is known for the mimicry displayed by the numerous forms of its females which mimic inedible red-bodied swallowtails; such as the common rose, which we will blog about soon. So, it is quite harmless....and quite beautiful, like all swallowtails.

here black on black makes this a challenging shot. Look at how it is pollinating the hibiscus, shot in early October.


2. Its caterpillar also has a form of mimicry...bird poop! And it has these brilliant red snake like tongue protrusions that shoot out when it is disturbed.

3. The common name is an allusion to the polygamy formerly practiced by members of the Mormon sect, as this species of butterfly has three types of females.


Here caught in mid flight.

and full frame.


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