Home

 

 
Butterflies of the Indian subcontinent
Five-bar Swordtail
Graphium antiphates  CRAMER, 1775
Family - PAPILIONIDAE
subfamily - PAPILIONINAE
Tribe - LEPTOCIRCINI
Graphium antiphates, Ultapani, Assam, India   Adrian Hoskins
Introduction
This beautiful species was for many years placed in a genus of its own - Pathysa, but taxonomists have since decided that it should be transferred back to its original genus Graphium.
The genus Graphium is widespread in the Old World, with 35 species in the Afrotropical region, 14 in the Oriental region, 6 in the Holarctic ( south and west China ) and 20 in the Australian region.
Almost all of the Oriental and Australasian species are characterised by the presence of a pattern of translucent green, turquoise or yellowish 'windows' in their wings. Arguably the most beautiful and unusual of all the Graphium species is weiskei from Papua, which is patterned with vivid pink and green on a dark brown ground colour. There are a several species however such as antiphates and aristeus which have pure white uppersides, marked with prominent vertical black stripes. A few including antiphates, aristeus and the African policenes have very long sword-like tails. Some of the Oriental species e.g. codrus, cloanthus and certain races of agamemnon have short tails, but in others including sarpedon, doson and eurypylus the tails are greatly reduced or absent.
Graphium antiphates is a widespread and common species, found from India to south China; and south through peninsular Malaysia to Borneo, Sumatra, Java and Bali.

Graphium antiphates, Ultapani, Assam, India  Adrian Hoskins

Habitats
This species is found in primary rainforest at elevations between sea level and about 600m.
Graphium antiphates, Ultapani, Assam, India   Adrian Hoskins
Lifecycle
The caterpillar reportedly feeds on Annona, Desmos and Uvaria, all members of the Annonaceae.

Graphium antiphates, Buxa, West Bengal, India   Adrian Hoskins

Adult behaviour
Males often migrate along river courses, where they aggregate with other Graphium species at patches of damp ground to filter-feed, using their proboscises to suck up water from which they extract sodium and other minerals. They constantly pump water through their bodies, expelling the surplus from the anus, using it to dissolve further minerals from the ground, which they re-imbibe. They quiver their wings constantly while feeding, and habitually face into the breeze. Late in the afternoon when temperatures drop males can sometimes be seen basking with wings outspread on tree foliage or bushes.
 

 

Contact  /  About me

Butterfly-watching holidays

Trip reports

UK latest sightings

Frequently asked questions

Strange but true !

Taxonomy & Evolution

Anatomy

Lifecycle

Enemies of butterflies

Survival strategies

Migration & dispersal

Habitats - UK / Palaearctic

Habitats - Tropical rainforests

Butterfly world census

Butterflies of the World :

British Isles

Europe

Amazon & Andes

North America

temperate Asia

Africa

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

Glossary

Links

Code of practice

Copyright - text & images

Copyright - text & images

X

X

X

X

 

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