Orchard Swallowtail

Papilio aegeus

Identification: Wingspan 105 mm. Male - black above with narrow white band across forewing; large central pale patch and single red spot on hindwing. Female - larger; extensive pale areas on both wings; row of red spots around edge of hindwing.

Habitat and Range: Rainforest to woodland. Widespread in northern and eastern Australia. Also New Guinea and other south-west Pacific islands.

Notes: Caterpillar feeds on leaves of citrus plants. Young caterpillars small and brown and white larvae resemble bird droppings. Older caterpillars change to 'camouflage' green. When disturbed, the larva extrudes reddish tentacles behind its head, which emit a strong smell.

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