Butterflies of Europe
Family - PAPILIONIDAE
Tribe - PAPILIONINI
Papilio alexanor, Haute Savoie, France
© Marijn van den Brink
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
is found in southern France, Italy, Greece, Turkey and east across
Europe to the Tien Shan.
This species flies in dry scrubby habitats, favouring limestone
valleys and plains.
The larval foodplants
and Trinia ( Apiaceae ).
Males are rapid in
flight, and even when settled are extremely alert and difficult to
approach. When settled they normally hold their wings fully outspread.
Both sexes visit a wide range of flowers for nectar.