Papilio demoleus

Students name : Shilpa , Bharathi, Leelavathi

College name:CMR National PUcollege, ITPL, Bengalore

Specimen: Papilio demoleus(lime butterfly)

Parts observed under foldscope: Proboscis, Wing dust, scales on wings& antenna

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Arthropods

Class: Insect

Order: Lepidoptera

Family: Papilionidae

Genus : papilio

Species: P. demoleus

Description: The lime swallowtail, Papilio demoleusLinnaeus, is sometimes called the chequered or citrus swallowtail. This butterfly ranges widely and is an extremely successful invader. Its proliferation appears to be aided by agricultural land use and urbanization that create new, suitable open habitat and enhanced availability of resource.

First to start with proboscis:
The mouth parts of Lepidoptera mainly consist of the sucking kind; this part is known as the proboscis or ‘haustellum’. The proboscis consists of two tubes held together by hooks and separable for cleaning. The proboscis contains muscles for operating.
The study of insect mouthparts was helpful for the understanding of the functional mechanism of the proboscis of butterflies (Lepidoptera) to elucidate the evolution of new form-function. The study of the proboscis of butterflies revealed surprising examples of adaptations to different kinds of fluid food, including nectarplant sap, tree sap, dung and of adaptations to the use of pollen.

Secondly about its antennae :
When butterflies flit from flower to flower, they’re not on random trips. Butterflies have remarkable antennae that help them find their way, help them locate each other and even help them tell time of day. Butterflies’ antennae work along with sensors on their feet as essential tools that allow them to find food, migrate, mate and sleep.

Lastly to say about wing dust& scales on wings which we, in the sense our senior Anjali who clearly differentiated the wing dust of butterfly& moth & even the scales on wings. Below is the link of her post:

Eggs: The eggs are pale yellow, nearly spherical, about 1.5 mm, basally flattened, and smooth. Females lay eggs singly near the edges of the host plant leaves. Larvae:First instars are black with a black head, with two sub-dorsal rows of short fleshy spines. Second, third, and fourth instars have a dark brown, glossy head capsule. There is an additional row of paired fleshy spines on the thorax. The head is brown, smooth and glossy, with short hairs.

Pupae: The pupae are stout, rugose, and about 30 mm long. They are attached to the thicker stems of the host plant, or to adjacent sticks and rocks. The color is dimorphic, typical for many swallowtails, being either pale green or pink-brown with other variable cryptic markings. The green form is usually marked dorsally with yellow. The color pattern imitates the dominant surrounding color to which the pupa is attached. The pupal duration is variable. In some areas, it is about 30 days in spring, reducing to 18 days in summer, but often those pupae formed in captivity during autumn will not produce adults until the following spring, or even longer with one record of 280 days.

Adults: The adults range in wingspan from 80-100 mm. The hindwing has no tail. The upper portion of the forewing is largely black and the outer wing margin has a series of irregular yellow spots. Two yellow spots are present at the upper end of the discal cell with several scattered yellow spots in the apical region. The upper hindwing has a red tornal spot and the discal black band is dusted with yellow scales. The under side is paler yellow with the black areas more heavily dusted with yellow. The adults fly in every month but are more abundant after monsoons.

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