Red-bodied Swallowtail: Pachliopta polydorous
Photo: C & D Frith
Australia's Cape York Peninsula
- This is one of the most common species in the Wet Tropics, seen along tracks and near the edges of rainforest patches.
- The adults are slow flyers and often feed on flowers growing at forest margins.
- Its larvae feed on Aristolochia vines, also used by the similar Big Greasy Butterfly and Birdwing Butterflies.
- After an egg is laid on a leaf, the young larva eats the eggshell before feeding on the food plant.
- The caterpillars are brown with several random tubercles of red or yellow colour.
- They generally pupate under a leaf but some have been known to pupate beneath rocks amongst vine thickets.
- Other papilionid butterflies found in the same area include the Ulysses Butterfly and the Capaneus Butterfly.