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Butterflies of the Indian subcontinent
Yellow Helen
Papilio nephelus  BOISDUVAL, 1836
Family - PAPILIONIDAE
subfamily - PAPILIONINAE
Tribe - PAPILIONINI
Papilio nephelus  Ultapani, Assam, India Adrian Hoskins
Introduction
There are about 210 species of Papilio worldwide, about 60 of which occur in the Oriental region. The Oriental species include several butterflies such as helenus, iswara, iswaroides and nephelus that have a black ground colour, and whose hindwings have large white patches that are normally only seen when the insect is in flight.
Papilio nephelus and helenus are very similar, but the latter is smaller and has red spots on the underside hindwings, whereas these are yellowish-orange in nephelus.
This species is found in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Sumatra, Sulawesi and Java.
Habitats
Papilio nephelus is found in rainforest and humid deciduous forest at elevations between sea level and about 800m.
Lifecycle
The larval foodplants include Citrus, Toddalia, Fagra and Euodia ( Rutaceae ).
Adult behaviour

Males are sometimes seen imbibing mineralised moisture from damp ground, but both sexes tend to be seen mainly when in flight, or when hovering while nectaring at flowering bushes.

Papilio nephelus Ultapani, Assam, India Adrian Hoskins

 

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