Green Dragontail (Lamproptera Meges)
Belonging to the family of swallowtail butterfly, the Green Dragontail is indigenous to South and Southeast Asia. This butterfly has ten identified subspecies, most of which are found in and around the Java, Sumatra, Sulawesi and Borneo regions.
Description and Identification
The caterpillar has a dark green body spotted in black.
The chrysalis or pupa is stuck to a leaf’s upper surface by its cremaster (hook-like tip).
Sexual Dimorphism: Present
Color and Appearance: A black and white color pattern runs throughout their body. When the wings are open, their bodies are black in color, with a light green band observed on their upper hind wing (as opposed to the White Dragontail, which has white wings), prominent mostly at the time of their flight. When the wings are closed, the color remains the same, i.e., black due to the presence of transparent windows. The females have a dull appearance, with grooves located on their ventral plate just above their abdominal tip to help in copulation. The males, on the other hand, lack the sex mark through which they could be more distinctly identified.
The Tail: The wings of the Green Dragontail extend to form a long black tail, tipped in white with a length of 25-40 mm (0.98-1.57 in). Their long tail serves as a rudder when in motion, moving back and forth at a rapid pace just like dragonflies.
Average Wingspan: 40-55 mm (1.6-2.2 in)
Flight pattern: Whirring, as their wings are small in comparison to their body length.
The smooth, nearly transparent spherical eggs are green in color, similar to that of other swallowtails.
|Distribution||Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, south China, Brunei, eastern Malaysia, Philippines, Brunei, Indonesian archipelago (Nias, Java, Sulawesi, Java, and Bangka) and northeastern India (Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Assam, Manipur)|
|Habitat||Tropical and sub-tropical rain forests, mostly near streams, waterfalls, and rivers,as well as on leaves found near bushes|
|Lifespan of Adults||Around 7 to 12 days|
|Host plants||Illigera burmanica King of the Hernandiaceae family and even on plants on plants of the Zanthoxylum genus (in the Philippines)|
Did You Know
- Though not threatened in most of its native regions, the Green Dragontail is vulnerable in Peninsular Malaysia, requiring protection.
- Kazuo Unno, an insect enthusiast of Japan, filmed a slow motion footage of these butterflies during his visit to the northern part of Thailand.