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Butterflies of Europe
Southern Swallowtail
Papilio alexanor  ESPER, 1800
Family - PAPILIONIDAE
subfamily - PAPILIONINAE
Tribe - PAPILIONINI
Papilio alexanor, Haute Savoie, France Marijn van den Brink
Introduction
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 alexanor is found in southern France, Italy, Greece, Turkey and east across Europe to the Tien Shan.
Habitats
This species flies in dry scrubby habitats, favouring limestone valleys and plains.
Lifecycle
The larval foodplants include Ptychotis, Falcaria, Seseli, Torilis, Ferula and Trinia ( Apiaceae ).
Adult behaviour

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.

 

 

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