Butterflies of the
Family - PAPILIONIDAE
Tribe - PAPILIONINI
Papilio castor Chilapata,
West Bengal, India © Adrian
are about 60 species of Papilio in the
Oriental region, and 210 species worldwide.
In common with
other members of the genus, castor is
palatable to insectivorous birds and in order to protect itself from
predation it has evolved its appearance to become superficially very
similar to an unpalatable species. In this particular case
Papilio castor has become a mimic of
the toxic Crow butterflies Euploea spp
which fly in the same vicinity.
Papilio castor occurs in n.e. India,
Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, south China and Taiwan.
This species is found in
rainforest and humid deciduous woodland at elevations between sea
level and about 1000m.
foodplants include Citrus,
and Glycosmis ( Rutaceae ).
In the early morning the
butterflies fly lazily around forest-edge habitats, settling
periodically to bask on bushes or tree foliage, with their wings fully
outspread. Later in the day males occasionally come to ground level to
mud-puddle. Both sexes will nectar at Lantana
and the flowers of various other bushes and trees.