Red-bodied swallowtail

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Red-bodied swallowtails
TS001 Pachliopta hector.jpg
Pachliopta hector
Scientific classification
Reakirt, [1865]
Moore, 1882
Moore, [1902]
Reakirt, [1865]

About 46; see text

  • Polydorus Swainson, [1833]
  • Pangerana Moore, 1886
  • Panosmia Wood-Mason & de Nicéville, 1886
  • Tros Kirby, 1896
  • Karanga Moore, [1902]
  • Balignina Moore, [1902]

Red-bodied swallowtails are butterflies in the swallowtail family, that belong to the genera Atrophaneura, Byasa, Losaria, or Pachliopta. They are generally found in Asia (Indomalaya ecozone).

Collectors have found the red-bodied swallowtails difficult to kill. Pinching the thorax, a method which kills most butterflies, is withstood and apparently only stuns the butterfly temporarily.[citation needed]

Life history[edit]

The eggs are simple. The larvae resemble those of other Troidini. Fleshy spine-like tubercles, often with red tips, line the caterpillars' backs, and their bodies are dark red to brown and velvety black or shades of grey with a pattern of black lines. They feed on species of Aristolochia and Thottea. Chrysalids are camouflaged to look like a dead leaf or twig. They are attached by a girdle and an anal pad. Adults are nectar feeding.

Many species of red-bodied swallowtails show aposematism,[1] and serve as models for Batesian mimicry. The biology of Pachliopta hector and Pachliopta aristolochiae are well studied.


Species limits may be either narrow (many species - forma and subspecies raised to full or "good" species) or broad (fewer species - rank reduction) see Jürgen Haffer for a discussion.

Genera and species[edit]

Plate from Adalbert Seitz's Macrolepidoptera of the World, depicting species now in the genus Atrophaneura
Plate from Seitz's Macrolepidoptera of the World, depicting species now in the genera Losaria and Pachliopta.
Plate from Seitz's Macrolepidoptera of the World, depicting species now in the genus Pachliopta

Listed alphabetically within genera:[2]

genus: Atrophaneura Reakirt, [1865][2] (earlier considered as subgenus Atrophaneura but now raised to genus level)[3]

genus: Byasa Moore, 1882 (earlier considered as subgenus Byasa but now raised to genus level)[3]

genus: Losaria Moore, [1902] (earlier considered as subgenus Losaria but now raised to genus level)[3]

genus: Pachliopta Reakirt, [1865] (earlier considered as subgenus Pachliopta but now raised to genus level)[3]


  1. ^ Kitching, Roger Laurence (1999). Biology of Australian Butterflies. Csiro Publishing. p. 131. ISBN 978-0-643-05027-3. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
  2. ^ a b Savela, Markku (16 Feb 2008). "Atrophaneura". Lepidoptera and some other life forms. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d Häuser, Christoph L.; de Jong, Rienk; Lamas, Gerardo; Robbins, Robert K.; Smith, Campbell; Vane-Wright, Richard I. (28 July 2005). "Papilionidae – revised GloBIS/GART species checklist (2nd draft)". Entomological Data Information System. Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde Stuttgart, Germany. Retrieved 21 June 2013..
  4. ^ Gimenez Dixon, M. (1996). "Atrophaneura schadenbergi". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 1996: e.T2379A9436065. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.1996.RLTS.T2379A9436065.en. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  5. ^ Hancook, D.L. (1982). A note on Atrophaneura palu (Martin) 1912. Papilo International. 1(3): 71-73

External links[edit]