Home / Swallowtail (Papilionidae) / Large Citrus (Papilio aegeus)

Large Citrus (Papilio aegeus)

Large Citrus Butterfly
en.wikipedia.org

The Large Citrus is a species of big-sized butterflies extensively scattered throughout their range in 11 local subspecies. As their name suggests, the species has a strong fondness for citrus plants, for which, the larvae of this butterfly are often considered a pest.

Description and Identification

Caterpillar

Large Citrus Butterfly Caterpillar
bugguide.net

Born with a brown base color with three white patches. As they mature they turn green with irregular markings in white, yellow or brown, reaching a maximum length of 60 mm (2.4 in) before pupating.

Scientific Classification

  • Family: Papilionidae
  • Genus: Papilio
  • Common names: Orchard Swallowtail Butterfly
  • Scientific Name: Papilio aegeus

Pupa

Large Citrus Butterfly Chrysalis
museumsvictoria.com.au

The chrysalis has an interesting way of camouflaging. They can be colored in cryptic green, brown, or grey, which completely depends on the color of the stem they stay attached to.

Adult Butterfly

Sexual Dimorphism: Moderately present

Color and Appearance: When the wings are open, both the sexes display a white stripe over a black base color; however, the females have more white stripes on the forewings. The hind wings are also black with a bright white triangular swath in the middle. The females also bear a few chains of blue and orange to red crescents along the edge. When the wings are closed, the ventral side displays a similar coloration and marking patterns.

Orchard Swallowtail Butterfly
pollinatorlink.files.wordpress.com
Papilio aegeus
enacademic.com

Average wingspan: Females: 140 mm (5.5 in); Males: 120 mm (4.7 in)

Flight pattern: Average and haphazard

Eggs

Large Citrus Butterfly Eggs
butterflyencounters.com.au

The smooth, spherical eggs are creamy white in color with an approx. diameter of 0.5 mm; they are laid one at a time

Quick Facts

Distribution Eastern Australia and Papua & New Guinea
Habitat Citrus fruit orchards, sunny lands, forests and forest edges
Lifespan of adults Up to two weeks
Host plants Mostly leaves of the genus Citrus, but a wide variety of other plants as well belonging to the genus Boronia, , Clausena, Dinosperma, Eriostemon, Flindersia, Geijera, Halfordia, Leionema, Micromelum, Philotheca, Zanthoxylum and Zieria
Adult diet Flower nectar

Did You Know?

Even though they are categorized under the group whose members are mostly characterized by their distinctive ‘tails’ on the hind wing, the characteristic is entirely absent in this species.

Female Large Citrus Butterfly
brisbaneinsects.com
Male Large Citrus Butterfly
brisbaneinsects.com
Large Citrus Butterfly Images
pollinatorlink.files.wordpress.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scientific Classification

  • Family: Papilionidae
  • Genus: Papilio
  • Common names: Orchard Swallowtail Butterfly
  • Scientific Name: Papilio aegeus