Butterflies of the the
Family - PAPILIONIDAE
Tribe - TROIDINI
© Anand Narkevar
The subfamily Papilioninae
consists of about 550 species worldwide. These are divided into 4
tribes - Leptocircini ( Jays ), Papilionini ( Swallowtails ),
Teinopalpini ( Kaiser-i-Hinds ), and Troidini.
includes the Parides Cattlehearts of
South America, the Ornithoptera
Paradise Birdwings of New Guinea, and
Troides and Trogonoptera
Birdwings of tropical Asia, and Atrophaneura.
The various members
of the genus Atrophaneura
are known as Windmills,
Batwings, Club-tails and Roses.
Together they total
about 45 species. The red body and head are found in almost species.
Atrophaneura species the hindwings have
spatulate tails and are marked with a single row of prominent red
submarginal spots and a large white central patch. The latter is
absent however in hector, which also
differs in having a double row of red spots.
Atrophaneura are unpalateable to birds,
and are mimicked in appearance by several edible species.
Papilio polytes for example produces
several different female forms or "morphs", including
polytes" which is a near perfect double of
Atrophaneura hector is found across
most of India, and in Sri Lanka.
This is very common species can
be found in numerous habitats including lowland rainforest,
semi-deciduous woodlands, beach hinterlands, acacia thickets,
farmland, city parks and gardens.
The larval foodplants are Aristolochia
and Thottea ( Aristolochiaceae ).
Both sexes roam widely,
fluttering and gliding gracefully but rapidly across the countryside.
They nectar avidly at wild and cultivated flowers, while constantly
fluttering their wings to maintain their position.