Graphium (butterfly)

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Graphium macleayanus.jpg
Macleay's Swallowtail (Graphium macleayanus)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Papilionidae
Tribe: Leptocircini
Genus: Graphium
Scopoli, 1777

>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
Graphium caterpillar

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 coloration 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.

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. The genus Protographium is closely related to Graphium.

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


Listed alphabetically.[1][2]

Subgenus Idaides:

Subgenus Arisbe Hübner, [1819]:

  • The philonoe species-group:
    • Graphium philonoe (Ward, 1873) – Eastern White-lady Swordtail, Eastern Graphium, White-dappled Swallowtail

Subgenus Pathysa:

Subgenus Paranticopsis Wood-Mason & de Nicéville, 1887:

Subgenus ?Pazala Moore, 1888:

Unnamed subgenus:


  1. ^ Graphium,
  2. ^ Woodhall, Steve. Field Guide to Butterflies of South Africa, Cape Town:Struik Publishers, 2005.
  3. ^ Graphium mullah kooichii
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ Global Names Index
  • 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 links[edit]

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