Butterflies of the
Family - PAPILIONIDAE
Tribe - LEPTOCIRCINI
Graphium macareus male, Buxa, West Bengal, India
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 -
Graphium species including
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.
This species occurs in forested habitats at altitudes between sea
level and about 500m.
To be completed.
As with other
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.