Chinese yellow swallowtail
Papilio xuthus, also known as the Asian Swallowtail, Chinese Yellow Swallowtail or the Xuthus swallowtail, is a yellow-colored. medium to large sized swallowtail butterfly found in northeast Asia, Northern Myanmar, southern China, Japan (from Hokkaidō to Yaeyama Islands), Siberia, and the Hawaiian Islands.
It mates multiple times in its life, leading to an increased genetic diversity in its young. It is preyed upon by a host of organisms, including the grasshopper Oecanthus longicauda, ant Lasius niger, and wasps (Polistes and Trogus mactator). P. xuthus utilizes color vision and color constancy while foraging for plants of the family Rutaceae.
Males use both physical and visual cues to attract mates during the breeding season. Females of the species regularly mate with multiple partners. After mating, females use habitat and food quality to determine where they will oviposit their eggs.
Papilio xuthus is a member of the Papilio genus, of which Papilio appalachiensis, Papilio canadensis, and Papilio glaucus are also members. It is of the family Papilionidae and order Lepidoptera.  It was first introduced in Hawaii in 1971 from Japan or Guam.  P. xuthus makes significant seasonal migrations over 200 km.  There are two subspecies of P. xuthus: Papilio xuthus koxingus and Papilio xuthus neoxuthus. 
The Asian Swallowtail is a mid-sized, yellow, prominently-tailed butterfly.  It has a wingspan of 45 to 55 mm. Its normal color pattern consists of a black pattern on a yellow background.  Wing coloration is sexually dimorphic, with females showing broader proximal marginal bands in the hind wing. Blue-iridesecent and orange scales separate the black bands on the hind wing. The black bands also run in stripes of varying thickness along the fore wing. The young caterpillar mimics bird feces and has a white and brown spot on its head. As they mature, caterpillars develop a light green body color with brown spots. 
Courtship and mating
During the mating season, Asian Swallowtail males fly through the foliage of trees in search of a mate.  If a male encounters a female resting on a plant with open and horizontal wings, it approaches her and examines her by contacting his forelegs with the tips of her wings.  In addition, males use visual cues to conduct the mating ritual and are particularly attracted to closely spaced yellow patches on female wings.
Most females of the Asian Swallowtail butterfly mate more than once in their life. This behavior is typical of many other swallowtail butterflies including P. glaucus, P. helenus, and P. protenor. By mating multiply females are able to increase the genetic diversity of their offspring.  In addition, multiple mating allows females to produce a greater number of mature eggs, which can rise up to thirty eggs.
Female butterflies disperse when they are about to oviposit. They decide on the number of eggs they deposit in different subhabitats by certain criteria such as the quality of the subhabitat, the existing adult population in the area, the quantity of young leaves in the vicinity, the degree of sun exposure (females prefer sunnier areas), and host plant height.
Some insects, such as the grasshopper Oeanthus longicauda, are capable of removing Asian Swallowtail larvae out of their eggs before they hatch.  During the first and second larval instars, their main predators are ants (particularly Lasius niger), spiders, and various other bugs. 
Asian Swallowtail caterpillars may also be parasitized by wasps, such as Trogus mactator and Pteromarus puparum, during development. These wasps ultimately kill the larvae after pupation.  In fact, wasps have been observed emerging from the host pupa four or five days after the predicted date of emergence of the host.
Aside from predation, larval mortality rate is also affected by diseases that appear to correlate with the duration of the rainy season.  Long days of rain in autumn lead to the rotting of infected larvae.
Asian Swallowtail butterflies exhibit color vision which gives them the ability to differentiate objects of contrasting colors irrespective of brightness. They also exhibit color constancy, which allows them to recognize the color of an organism regardless of the background light. Asian Swalowtail butterflies show this color constancy even when the background light is yellow and red. This ability is important for foraging, as it allows butterflies to recognize certain flowers in an area irrespective of whether the flower is in the shade or in the sun.
- Phellodendron amurensis
- Poncirus trifoliata
- Zanthoxylum spp, such as the Japanese pepper tree Zanthoxylum piperitum, Zanthoxylum nitidum and the Japanese Prickly-ash Zanthoxylum ailanthoides
- Cultivated Citrus species such as the Mandarin orange and the Yuzu
- Euodia ruaecarpa
Development and Population Dynamics
Despite its wide distribution, populations of the Asian Swallowtail remain at a stable, relatively low, level. There are typically four to five generations every year with the adults of the first generation emerging from mid April to early May and adults of the second generation emerging in the middle of June. P. xuthus will lay single eggs on leaves of host plants, allowing hatched larvae to feed on Poncirus trifoliata, Zanthoxylum ailanthoides, and various citrus species.  The larval stage lasts for approximately three to five weeks while the pupal stage is around two weeks.
According to a study, the population fluctuation of the Asian Swallowtail butterfly has been surprisingly stable compared to that of various other insects.  The stability of the population appeared to be regulated by the population dynamics of egg the parasitoids, Trichogramma, and the pupal parasitoids, P. puparum, who maintained shorter life spans and generation-times than the eggs of the Asian Swallowtail.  When the butterfly population reaches a high density, because of the shorter generational turn around of the parasites, intergeneration responses of the parasites are faster than those of the butterflies, resulting in a responding increased growth of the parasites.  This creates an evolutionary stable system to keep the population of both the parasites and the host in check.  It was also found that amongst the subpopulations studied, exchanges between each subpopulation helped to maintain the stability of the entire population as a whole.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Papilio xuthus.|
- Collins, N. Mark; Collins, Michael G. (1985). Threatened Swallowtails of the World:the IUCN red data book. IUCN Protected Area Programme Series. Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, U.K.: IUCN. p. 95. ISBN 978-2-88032-603-6. Retrieved 22 October 2010.
- Watanabe, M., and Nozato, K. (1986). Fecundity of the yellow swallowtail butterflies,Papilio xuthus andP. machaon hippocrates, in a wild environment.Zool. Sci. 3: 509–515.
- Watanabe, Mamoru (March 1976). "A preliminary study on population dynamics of the swallowtail butterfly,Papilio xuthus L. In a deforested area". Researches on Population Ecology 17 (2): 200–210. doi:10.1007/BF02530771.
- Kinoshita, Michiyo; Kentaro Arikawa (2000). "Color Constancy of the Swallowtail Butterfly, Papilio xuthus". The Journal of Experimental Biology 203: 3521-3530. Retrieved 25 October 2013.
- "Papilio xuthus (Asian Swallowtail, Japanischer Schwalbenschwanz, Machaon asiatique)". Retrieved 20 November 2013.
- Roskov Y., Kunze T., Paglinawan L., Orrell T., Nicolson D., Culham A., Bailly N., Kirk P., Bourgoin T., Baillargeon G., Hernandez F., De Wever A., eds (2013). Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life, 2013 Annual Checklist. Digital resource at www.catalogueoflife.org/annual-checklist/2013/. Species 2000: Reading, UK.
- Scott, J. A. 1986. The butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press.
- NatureServe (2013). "NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]: Papilio xuthus - Linnaeus, 1767". Virginia: NatureServe. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
- Koch; Nijhout (2002). "The Role of Wing Veins in Colour Pattern Development in the Butterfly, Papilio xuthus". European Journal of Entomology 99: 67–72. doi:10.14411/eje.2002.012.
- Hidaka, Toshitaka; Keiko Yamashita (December 1975). "Wing Color Pattern as the Releaser of Mating Behavior in the Swallowtail Butterfly, Papilio xuthus L. (Lepidoptera: Papilionidae)". Applied entomology and zoology 10 (4): 263–267.
- Watanabe, M., Nozato, K., and Kiritani, K. (1986). Studies on ecology and behavior of Japanese black swallowtail butterflies. V. Fecundity in summer generations.Appl. Entomol. Zool. 21: 448–453.
- Burns, J. M. (1966). Preferential mating versus mimicry: Distruptive selection and sex-limited dimorphism inPapilio glaucus.Science 153: 551–553.
- Walker, W. F. (1980). Sperm utilization strategies in nonsocial insects.Am. Nat. 115: 780–799.
- Watanabe, Mamoru (1988). "Multiple matings increase the fecundity of the yellow swallowtail butterfly,Papilio xuthus L., in summer generations". Journal of Insect Behavior 1 (1): 17–29. doi:10.1007/BF01052501.
- Hirose, Y.; Y. Suzuki, M.Takagi, K. Hiehata, M. Yamasaki, H. Kimoto, M. Yamanaka, M. Iga, K. Yamaguchi (March 1980). "Population dynamics of the citrus swallowtail,Papilio xuthus Linné (Lepidoptera: Papilionidae): Mechanisms stabilizing its numbers". Researches on Population Ecology 21 (2): 260–285. doi:10.1007/BF02513625.
- Suzuki, Y., K. Yamaguchi, M. Iga, Y. Hirose andH. Kimoto (1976) Spatial distribution of the eggs ofPapilio xuthus Linné (Lepidoptera: Papilionidae) in a citrus grove.Jap. J. appl. Ent. Zool. 20: 177–183. (In Japanese with English synopsis),
- Savela, Marrku (16 Feb 2008). "Papilio". Lepidoptera and some other life forms. nic.funet.fi. Retrieved 9 November 2010.
- Inaba, S. (1937) The ecological observation on the swallowtail butterflyPapilio xuthus L. (II).Acta Zooecologica 1, (2): 17–29.
- Harry, J. L. 1994. Papilio xuthus in Hawaii: A Photo Life History (Lepidoptera: Papilionidae). Tropical Lepidoptera 5(1): 6-7. pdf