|Giant Blue Swallowtail|
|Papilio zalmoxis- Blue sheen. Mounted specimen|
|Papilio zalmoxis fron Democratic Republic of the Congo - Green sheen. Mounted specimen|
Papilio zalmoxis or Giant Blue Swallowtail is a butterfly belonging to the Papilionidae family. The name of the species is given in honor of Zalmoxis - a divinity of the Getae (a people of the lower Danube), mentioned by Herodotus in his Histories IV, 93–96.
Papilio zalmoxis has a wingspan reaching about 12–16 centimetres (4.7–6.3 in) and it is the second largest African Swallowtail. The colour of the upper side of the wings is usually blue but can be greenish, contrasting with the light-gray color of the underside of the wings. Previously thought to produce the blue colour by Tyndall scattering, the scales of Papilio zalmoxis are not nanostructured for incoherent scattering instead the blue is a fluorescent pigmentary colour.
The uppersides of the forewings have narrow black stripes between black veins. The tip of the wings is black. Uppersides of the hind wings have a black marginal band, with a chain of blue spots. The body is bright yellow. Females are slightly smaller than males, and less brightly colored. The background color of its wings is yellowish-brown.
Papilio zalmoxis from Central African Republic. Mounted specimen
- Afrotropical Butterflies: File C – Papilionidae - Tribe Papilionini
- Huxley, J: "The Coloration of Papilio zalmoxis and P. antimachus, and the Discovery of Tyndall Blue in Butterflies", Proc. R. Soc. Lond B., Vol. 193, No. 1113 (Jun. 30, 1976), pp. 441-453
- Prum et al.: "Anatomically diverse butterfly scales all produce structural colours by coherent scattering", J. Exp. Biol. 209 (4) 748
- Papilionidae – revised GloBIS/GART species checklist
- Eric Laithwaite, Allan Watson [and] Paul E. S. Whalley - The dictionary of butterflies and moths in colour - American consultant editor, W. Donald Duckworth
|This Papilionidae-related article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|