Butterflies of temperate Asia
Asian Swallowtail
Papilio xuthus   LINNAEUS, 1767
subfamily - PAPILIONINAE
Tribe -
Papilio xuthus, Yunnan, China Tony Hoare
Back in the 18th century when Linnaeus created the System Naturae, the word Papilio was used as the genus name for every known species of butterfly in the world. Since then much has been learnt about the relationships between different species. Consequently most have been reassigned to new genera, and only about 215 of the 17600 currently known species are retained in Papilio.
Papilio xuthus is found in Myanmar, China, Taiwan, Korea, Ussuri, Amur, Japan, the Philippines and Hawaii.

This species inhabits woodland, suburban gardens, city parks and Citrus orchards, at elevations between sea level and about 1000m.

Papilio xuthus, 2500m, Baisha, Lijiang, Yunnan, China Jean-Marc Gayman

The spherical pale yellow egg is laid singly on the upper surface of leaves of Euodia, Zanthoxylum, Phellodendron, Poncirus and cultivated Citrus ( Rutaceae ). The fully grown caterpillar is green with large white spots above the prolegs. It has a pale green 'saddle' broken into 4 sections, the trailing edge of each being marked narrowly in white and broadly in dark green. The 3rd thoracic segment has a mottled patch within which are a pair of reddish false eye marks. The pupa is pale brownish or green depending on the substrate used for pupation.

Adult behaviour

Both sexes nectar at a wide range of flowers including Lantana, Lycoris and Convulvulus.


Contact  /  About me

Butterfly-watching holidays

Trip reports

UK latest sightings

Frequently asked questions

Strange but true !

Taxonomy & Evolution



Enemies of butterflies

Survival strategies

Migration & dispersal

Habitats - UK / Palaearctic

Habitats - Tropical rainforests

Butterfly world census

Butterflies of the World :

British Isles


Amazon & Andes

North America

temperate Asia


Indian subcontinent

Malaysia & Borneo

Papua New Guinea

Australia & N.Z.

Insects of Britain & Europe

Insects of Amazonia

Moths of the Andes

Saturniidae - Silkmoths

Caterpillars of the World

Butterfly Photography

Recommended Books



Code of practice

Copyright - text & images

Copyright - text & images






All photographs, artwork, text & website design are the property of Adrian Hoskins ( unless otherwise stated ) and are protected by Copyright. Photographs or text on this website must not be reproduced in part or in whole or published elsewhere without prior written consent of Adrian Hoskins / learnaboutbutterflies.com

Site hosted by Just Host