Papilio nireus

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Green-banded swallowtail
Narrow blue-banded swallowtail (Papilio nireus lyaeus).jpg
Narrow blue-banded swallowtail (Papilio nireus lyaeus) underside.jpg
both P. n. lyaeus
Semliki Wildlife Reserve' Uganda
Scientific classification
P. nireus
Binomial name
Papilio nireus
  • Papilio erinus Gray, [1853]
  • Papilio nireus f. nora Strand, 1915
  • Papilio nireus f. dimidiatus Le Cerf, 1924
  • Papilio nireoides Braun, 1932
  • Papilio nireus nireus ab. bedoci Dufrane, 1946
  • Papilio nireus nireus ab. punctata Dufrane, 1946
  • Papilio nireus nireus ab. seeldrayersi Dufrane, 1946
  • Papilio nireus nireus ab. pierardi Dufrane, 1946
  • Papilio nireus nireus ab. falcata Dufrane, 1946
  • Papilio nireus nireus f. houzeaui Dufrane, 1946
  • Papilio nireus nireus f. tenuivittata Dufrane, 1946
  • Papilio nireus nireus var. xerophila Storace, 1952
  • Papilio nireus micronireus Storace, 1952
  • Papilio nireus ab. lyaeoides Storace, 1952
  • Papilio nireus nireus f. cedeae Sala, 1992
  • Papilio lyaeus Doubleday, 1845
  • Papilio lyaeus aelyus Suffert, 1904
  • Papilio mantitheus Ehrmann, 1920
  • Papilio nireus-lyaeus f. callistria Le Cerf, 1927
  • Papilio nireus pseudonireus f. pseudonireoides Storace, 1952
  • Papilio donaldsoni Sharpe, 1896
  • Papilio nireus var. abyssinica Cannaviello, 1900
  • Papilio nireus pseudonireus ab. pseudolyaeus Storace, 1952
  • Papilio nireus pseudonireus ab. anticemaculata Storace, 1952
  • Papilio nireus pseudonireus ab. minor Storace, 1952
  • Papilio nireus pseudonireus f. semivittata Storace, 1952

Papilio nireus, the green-banded swallowtail, narrow-banded blue swallowtail, or African blue-banded swallowtail, is a butterfly of the family Papilionidae. It is found in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The wingspan is 75–90 millimetres (3.0–3.5 in) in males and 85–95 mm (3.3–3.7 in) in females. It flies year-round, with peaks from November to February.[2]

The larvae feed on Calodendrum capense, Teclea species, Vepris species, and Citrus species.[1]


Listed alphabetically:[1]

  • P. n. lyaeus Doubleday, 1845narrowly green-banded swallowtail (Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland)
  • P. n. nireus Linnaeus, 1758 – (Senegal, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin, southern Nigeria, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo, Angola, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, western Tanzania, Zambia)
  • P. n. pseudonireus C. & R. Felder, 1865 – (northern Kenya, northern Uganda, southern Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea)


Papilio nireus belongs to a clade called the nireus species group with 15 members. The pattern is black with green bands and spots and the butterflies, although called swallowtails, lack tails with the exception of Papilio charopus and Papilio hornimani. The clade members are:


  1. ^ a b c Papilio nireus at Markku Savela's Lepidoptera and Some Other Life Forms
  2. ^ Woodhall, Steve (2005). Field Guide to Butterflies of South Africa. Cape Town, South Africa: Struik. p. 352. ISBN 978-1-86872-724-7.
  • Carcasson, R.H. (1960) "The Swallowtail Butterflies of East Africa (Lepidoptera, Papilionidae)". Journal of the East Africa Natural History Society pdf Key to East Africa members of the species group, diagnostic and other notes and figures. (Permission to host granted by The East Africa Natural History Society)
  • Hancock, David Lawrence. (1984) The Princeps nireus group of swallowtails (Lepidoptera: Papilionidae): systematics, phylogeny and biogeography. Arnoldia Zimbabwe 9(12):181-215.

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