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Butterflies of the Indian subcontinent
Spectacle Swordtail
Graphium glycerion  GRAY, 1831
Family - PAPILIONIDAE
subfamily - PAPILIONINAE
Tribe -
Graphium glycerion male, Sikkim, India   Adrian Hoskins
Introduction
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 & west China ) and 20 in the Australian region.
Many of the Oriental species have a pattern of translucent turquoise or yellowish 'windows' in their wings. Several however have a tiger pattern similar to that of the Danaine genera Parantica and Tirumala, and others such as eurous and glycerion are white with black stripes and long tails.
Graphium glycerion is found in northern India, Nepal, Bhutan, Thailand, Laos, China and Vietnam.
Habitats
This species occurs in forested habitats at altitudes between about 1000-2500m.
Lifecycle
The larval foodplant is not recorded but is likely to be in the family Lauraceae.
Adult behaviour

As with other Graphium species, glycerion males adopt the 'filter-feeding' technique - using their long proboscises to continually suck up water from which they extract sodium and other minerals. They constantly pump the water through their bodies, expelling the surplus from the anus, and using it to dissolve further minerals from the ground, which they re-imbibe.

Graphium glycerion male, Sikkim, India   Adrian Hoskins

 

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