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Swallowtail

(Papilio machaon)

 

27/07/05 Drôme (26)

27/07/05 Drôme (26)

07/04/07 Rhône (69)

Egg laid on an umbellifer 22/04/07 Rhône (69)

22/06/10 Rhône (69)

26/04/08 Rhône (69)

05/05/13 Rhône (69)

 

Although it may be seen in meadows and woodland rides the Swallowtail is most common in gardens where it is very fond of buddleia and will flap its wings vigorously while nectaring.....this makes photography rather tricky! It flies fairly high and can be seen above head height often gliding between bouts of wing beats. Adults can be seen chasing each other and are sometimes accompanied by a Scarce Swallowtail that gets involved in the dispute. In late May 2005 I witnessed for the first time the activity known as 'hilltopping' where several adults (generally males I believe) congregate and jostle at the top of a mountain. The summit in question was a local peak at 780m on a rather windy day and there had been no sign of the species on the way up so it was quite a surprise to find the butterflies up there when I arrived!  

Rhône list

General index