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Butterflies of the Indian subcontinent
Lesser Zebra
Graphium macareus  GODART, 1819
Family - PAPILIONIDAE
subfamily - PAPILIONINAE
Tribe - LEPTOCIRCINI
Graphium macareus male, Buxa, West Bengal, 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.
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, and others including macareus which have patterns similar to those of Parantica ( Danainae ), a fact reflected in the name of the sub-genus in which macareus is placed - Paranticopsis.

Several Graphium species including antiphates, aristeus and the African policenes have long sword-like tails. In others they are greatly reduced, or as in the case of macareus, entirely absent.

Graphium macareus is found in India, Myanmar, Thailand, Loas, Cambodia, the Philippines, West Malaysia, Sumatra, Borneo, Sulawesi and Java.
Habitats
This species occurs in forested habitats at altitudes between sea level and about 500m.
Lifecycle
To be completed.
Adult behaviour

As with other Graphium species, macareus 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.

 

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