Graphium aristeus

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Chain swordtail
Chain Swordtail (Graphium aristeus) at 23 Mile, Duars, WB W IMG 5883.jpg
West Bengal, India
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Papilionidae
Genus: Graphium
Subgenus: Pathysa
Species: G. aristeus
Binomial name
Graphium aristeus
(Stoll, 1782)

Graphium aristeus, the chain swordtail, is a butterfly in the family Papilionidae (swallowtails). It is found in the Indomalaya ecozone. The Indian subspecies G. a. anticrates is protected by law in India. It is found in Sikkim, Bhutan, Meghalaya, West Bengal and Assam.


Males and female (below) of G. a. anticrates
For a key to the terms used, see Glossary of entomology terms.

The first description was given by Caspar Stoll in 1782.

The forewings are yellowish. The outer part of the wing is dark brown and contains a thin yellow strip. Four dark brown stripes dominate the wing. Next to the body there is a dark brown area. The underside of Graphium aristeus is very similar to the upperside.

The hindwings are yellowish and they have long tails. The edge is wavy. The outer part of the wing is dark brown and contains a chain of yellow spots. The inner edge is dark brown. In the middle of the wing there is a dark brown strip. The underside is very similar to the upperside, but a chain of red spots dominates the wing.

The body is black. The thorax and the head are also black. The underside of all parts is yellow.


Graphium aristeus is a butterfly from the Australasian and Indomalayan ecozones. It is also widely distributed in New Guinea.

Papua localities: Salawati: Salawati Mountains; Biak: Wardo; New Guinea: Akimuga (Kampong Baru & Fafafuku), Beaufortbivak, Dabra (Mamberamo), East Tami, Homasam, Kobakama, Kopi River (Timika), Kuala Kenkana (Timika), Van Weels Camp (Keerom), Wendesi, Werba (Fakfak)

External distribution: Northern India, Sikkim to South China, Philippines and Indonesia, New Guinea, Queensland, New Britain, New Ireland and Manus.


  • Graphium aristeus aristeus Ambon, Serang
  • Graphium aristeus anticrates (Doubleday, 1846) North India, Nepal, Sikkim, Assam
  • Graphium aristeus hermocrates (C. & R. Felder, 1865) Burma - Thailand, Timor, Wetar, Damar, Philippines (Balabac, Basilan, Bohol, Bongao, Busuanga, Cebu, Dinagar, Dumaran, Leyte, Luzon, Marnduque, Masbate, Mindanao, Mindoro, Negros, Palawan, Panaon, Panay, Samar, Sibuyan, Siquijor, Tawitawi)
  • Graphium aristeus hainanensis (Chou & Gu, 1994) Hainan
  • Graphium aristeus parmatus (Gray, [1853]) Aru, Waigeu, W.Irian, New Guinea, Papua, North Queensland
  • Graphium aristeus paron (Godman & Salvin, 1879) New Britain, New Ireland
  • Graphium aristeus bifax (Rothschild, 1898) Obi

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