Swallowtail - Papilio machaon
Val d'Aran, July 2005
Switzerland, June 2006 (with black-veined whites)
Switzerland, June 2006
Egg, Switzerland, June 2006
The Swallowtail is an exotic butterfly, but quite common in Europe, especially in the south. The British form is different from the continental insects illustrated here, most noticeably in the darkness of the wings (darker in the British form) and the shape of the submarginal band on the forewing, which is more tapered. However, continental specimens often have quite marked tapering. Outside the UK the swallowtail may be found in almost any habitat, flying in a weak but deceptively fast manner and often sticking to daily behaviour patterns. In England it is restricted to wetlands in the eastern counties where its larval foodplant, milk parsley, grows.It usually settles only briefly and is difficult to photograph. Like most butterflies, how ever, it will come to wet ground in hot, dry weather, and is then easier to reach.