A very beautiful and large butterfly belonging to the family of sailboats or gentlemen. Even the caterpillar of the Swallowtail butterfly has a very remarkable and striking appearance. The butterfly received the name "Swallowtail" from Karl Linnaeus, who named it after the famous ancient surgeon.
Butterfly Swallowtail is a fairly dimensional representative of butterflies with a wingspan of up to 10 centimeters in length. It is a day butterfly. On the head are long club-shaped antennae. The head is almost motionless with large and complex faceted eyes located on the sides.
The vision of the Machaons helps them to distinguish colors and objects perfectly, which is why they are well oriented in their territories.
The oral mechanism is represented by a black trunk, which after eating is folded into a kind of spiral. In the region of the hind wings, characteristic outgrowths of up to one centimeter are located.
The color of the butterfly is predominantly yellow, on which dark patterns flaunt. The wings are decorated with blue and yellow spots, and at the base there is a characteristic red area that looks like an eye. On the wings you can see many different shades, including pale sand, whitish and bright yellow tint.
The colors of the butterfly are largely determined by its habitat. In the northern regions, this color is somewhat pale, and in the southern regions it is bright and intense.
The largest number of Machaons is in Europe, with the exception of Denmark and Ireland. Some species live well in Asia, North America and Africa.
They prefer to live in steppe and meadow spaces, as well as forests and mountains. In the Alps at an altitude of two kilometers you can meet this butterfly. Also in Tibet there were representatives at an altitude of almost 5 kilometers.
As the Machaons become active with the onset of the day, they have access to many flowers. These large butterflies need a lot of nectar, so they can often be found in various parks and gardens.
Males are territorial insects . They choose their personal space at a dominant height. Also, they are not alien to gather in small groups, sitting on the shore of ponds. All individuals tend to sit on the hills and tall trees. Many Machaons flutter at a height and show their peculiar dance up and down.
In nature, it is almost impossible to find Machaon at rest with all wings spread, since the hind wings are invisible against the front. Swallowtail can completely spread wings when exposed to warm, bright sunlight.
The flight period of these butterflies falls from spring to autumn. During this time, about three generations of these representatives appear. Many Machaons give only 2 generations of butterflies. The average life span of an adult butterfly rarely exceeds 3 weeks.
Nutrition may vary depending on habitat. For example, in Central Asia, the main food of the Machaons is wormwood. In the middle lane, food consists of various umbrella crops, such as:
- Hogweed and carrots;
- Parsley, fennel, dill;
- Gorinik, prangos;
- Gircha and cutter.
They love the Machaons to eat various rue and birch shoots. Adult Machaons prefer flower nectar.
One female lays about 120 eggs. During masonry, the butterfly hangs over the plants to lay eggs on the side of the stem or on the leaf of the plant. The stage of the egg at the Machaons lasts up to 5 days, at the end of which a black larva with bright spots appears. With age, they transform color to green with orange dots and black stripes.
Turning the Swallowtail Caterpillar into a Pupa
Larvae are extremely active and constantly eat. Due to this, literally in a week they reach 9 millimeter length. The most common larvae food is ovaries, flowers, and leaves. One larva can eat a bed of dill. But with the onset of the chrysalis, the larva ceases to store nutrients from food. The pupal period occurs on the stems of plants. Color can be either yellow-green or brown. It depends on the period of pupation. The pupal period lasts from 2-3 weeks to several months. The speed of appearance of a butterfly depends on the climate .
Video about the butterfly Swallowtail