Home / Swallowtail (Papilionidae) / Green Dragontail (Lamproptera Meges)

Green Dragontail (Lamproptera Meges)

The Green Dragontail, a captivating member of the swallowtail butterfly family, thrives in the lush landscapes of South and Southeast Asia. Known for its unique appearance and fascinating life cycle, this butterfly species draws attention from scientists and nature enthusiasts alike. Its presence in diverse tropical and subtropical habitats underscores its ecological significance and the beauty it brings to its natural surroundings.

Green Dragontail Butterfly

Scientific Classification

  • Family: Papilionidae
  • Genus: Lamproptera
  • Scientific Name: Lamproptera meges


Belonging to the genus Lamproptera, the Green Dragontail is celebrated for its distinct physical features and behaviors. This butterfly has carved out a niche across various Asian territories, adapting to environments that offer rich biodiversity. The existence of ten subspecies highlights its evolutionary success in navigating through the regions of Java, Sumatra, Sulawesi, and Borneo, among others.

Description and Identification


The early life stage of the Green Dragontail features a caterpillar with a vibrant dark green body adorned with black spots. This coloration provides camouflage among the foliage, a crucial survival tactic against predators.


Transitioning into the pupal stage, the chrysalis adheres to the upper surface of a leaf through its cremaster. This secure attachment ensures the safety of the developing butterfly.

Adult Butterfly

Sexual Dimorphism: Visible differences between male and female Green Dragontails allow for easy identification, with males lacking a distinctive sex mark found in females.

Color and Appearance: The adult butterflies boast a striking black and white color scheme. The males exhibit vibrant green bands on their upper hind wings when in flight, while females present a more subdued appearance. The wings’ unique transparent sections contribute to their remarkable visual appeal.

Green DragontailLamproptera MegesAverage Wingspan: Ranging from 40 to 55 mm (1.57 – 2.16 in), the wingspan of the Green Dragontail underscores its delicate structure.

Flight Pattern: The butterfly’s whirring flight pattern is a result of its small wings relative to body length, allowing for agile movement through its habitat.


The reproduction cycle begins with the laying of smooth, nearly transparent green eggs, ensuring the continuation of the species.

Quick Facts

DistributionEncompasses Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, South China, Brunei, Eastern Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Northeastern India.
HabitatPrefers tropical and sub-tropical rainforests, particularly near water bodies and lush vegetation.
Lifespan of AdultsA brief yet vibrant life of 7 to 12 days.
Host PlantsRelies on Illigera burmanica and Zanthoxylum species for nourishment during the larval stage.

How to Identify Green Dragontail Butterfly?

Identifying a Green Dragontail can be an exhilarating experience for any butterfly enthusiast. Start by looking for its unique tail; the long, black, and white-tipped appendage is unmistakable and serves as a primary distinguishing feature. Observing the butterfly’s flight pattern is also key; their rapid, whirring movements are distinctive among swallowtails. Additionally, their habitat can offer clues; these butterflies are often found near streams, waterfalls, or rivers within tropical and subtropical rainforests. Look for adults hovering near the ground or basking with their distinctive wings, which may be closed to reveal the black and transparent windows or open to display their beautiful green bands. Paying attention to these characteristics will significantly enhance your ability to recognize this magnificent species in the wild.

Did You Know?

  • In Peninsular Malaysia, the Green Dragontail is classified as vulnerable, highlighting the need for conservation efforts to protect this enchanting species.
  • Kazuo Unno, a renowned Japanese insect enthusiast, captured the mesmerizing slow-motion footage of these butterflies, offering a closer look at their delicate beauty and flight mechanics.
  • The Green Dragontail’s long tail is not just for show; it functions as a rudder, enhancing maneuverability and aiding in its quick, darting flight movements.

Dragon Tail Butterfly Video


The Green Dragontail butterfly serves as a testament to nature’s artistry and the complex web of life within tropical ecosystems. Understanding and appreciating its life cycle, habits, and the challenges it faces is crucial for conservation efforts and ensuring that future generations can also marvel at its beauty. Whether you’re a seasoned entomologist or a casual observer, the Green Dragontail reminds us of the intricate connections that sustain the natural world.

Green Dragontail Pictures

The Green Dragontail Butterflies
Green Dragontail Butterfly Pictures
Green Dragontail Butterfly Images

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Scientific Classification

  • Family: Papilionidae
  • Genus: Lamproptera
  • Scientific Name: Lamproptera meges
Published by Poppy Glendening on May 22, 2019.
Last Updated: March 8, 2024. ✅ Verified by: Butterfly Team