The swallowtail butterfly

The swallowtail butterfly

Butterflies are some of the most fascinating insects. Everyone can admire these colorful creatures. One of the most fascinating butterflies is the Swallowtail Butterfly; they are bigger than most of the other butterflies. This butterfly family includes more than 550 species, resplendent in different colors and patterns.

The Swallowtail butterfly lives in tropical and temperate regions, but some of them can actually live in the Arctic Circle or in the Himalaya mountains. They got their name from the forked appearance of their hind wings.

To protect themselves, they use Batesian mimicry, which is used especially by insects. This is when a harmless species imitates the warning signals of a poisonous or harmful plant or another deadly insect. Their appearance is like a camouflage to hide from birds, spiders, and some species of bugs or to discourage predators. When they mate, they hide their eggs under leaves, and most of the time they don’t build a cocoon. They don’t revisit the place where they hid their eggs, and the female does not mate with another male at this time.

At the caterpillar stage, they eat different types of plants, but what is interesting is their interest for toxic plants. When they eat them, they become toxic themselves which gives them protection from predators. When the butterfly is mature, it can also eat garden plants, nectar, or mud. For this reason, they are very common around. Some of the biggest and most colorful species can be seen at butterfly farms.

Keep an eye on your garden and you might get lucky and see a swallowtail butterfly!