Butterflies of Thailand, Malaysia & Borneo
Five-bar Swordtail
Graphium antiphates  CRAMER, 1775
subfamily - PAPILIONINAE

Graphium antiphates itamputi, Taman Negara, West Malaysia  Adrian Hoskins
This beautiful species was for many years placed in a genus of its own, Pathysa, but taxonomists have since decided that it should be transferred back to its original genus Graphium.
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.
Most of the Oriental and Australasian species are characterised by the presence of a pattern of translucent green, turquoise or yellowish "windows" in their wings. There are a few however such as antiphates and euphrates which are predominantly white, marked with vertical black stripes. Arguably the most beautiful and unusual of all is weiskei from Papua, a tailed species patterned with vivid pink and green on a dark brown ground colour.
Several Graphium species such as antiphates and the African policenes have very long sword-like tails, while in others such as sarpedon and eurypylus the tails are greatly reduced or absent.
Graphium antiphates is a widespread and common species, found from India to south China; and south through peninsular Malaysia to Borneo, Sumatra, Java and Bali.
This species is found in primary rainforest at elevations between sea level and about 400 metres.
The caterpillar reportedly feeds on Annona, Desmos and Uvaria, all members of the Annonaceae.
Adult behaviour
Males of this fast flying species often migrate along river courses, where they commonly aggregate with other Graphium species to imbibe mineralised moisture. While feeding the normally quiver the wings rapidly. In common with many other species they filter-feed, using their proboscises to suck up water from which they extract sodium and other minerals. They constantly pump water through their bodies, expelling the surplus from the anus, using it to dissolve further minerals from the ground, which they re-imbibe.


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