Monday, October 15, 2012


Family Papilionidae

This is a family of large butterflies - the Swallowtails. There are 18 species in Singapore - 7 Papilio, 6 Graphium, 2 birdwings and one each of rose, mime and swordtail.

Common Birdwing Malayan Birdwing Common Rose Common Mime
Lime Butterfly Banded Swallowtail Red Helen Great Helen
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Great Mormon Common Mormon Blue Helen Tailed Jay
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Striped Jay Common Jay Great Jay Blue Jay
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Common Bluebottle Five Bar Swallowtail

Lime Butterfly (Papilio demoleus malayanus)

The upperside is black with mainly pale spots except for two red spots, whereas the underside is distinctively patterned with mainly pale, black and orange.

East Coast ©Sylvia Chua

Rifle Range ©Eddy Lee

Great Mormon (Papilio memnon agenor)

The male is mostly dark in color, whereas the female has white forewings.

Male ©Eddy Lee

Female ©Eddy Lee. Male at Sungei Buloh ©Tan KH

Common Mormon (Papilio polytes romulus)

The male is black with small white spots on forewings and large white spots on hindwings. The female also has red spots on the hindwings. It mimics the Common Rose, which is distasteful to predators. However, the Common Mormon has a black body, whereas the Common Rose has a red body.

Female. Mandai Orchid Garden ©Eddy Lee

Male at Toa Payoh ©Lau SY. Botanic Garden ©Sylvia Chua

Blue Jay (Graphium evemon eventus)

Similar to the Common Jay, but lacks the red spot in the middle of the underwings.

Central Catchment ©Eddy Lee

Common Bluebottle (Graphium sarpedon luctatius)

This species has a large green-blue triangle on each black wing (both upper and under). The Banded Swallowtail look similar, but has a "tail" on each hindwing.

Central Catchment ©Eddy Lee. Bukit Batok Nature Park ©Lau SY

Common Birdwing (Troides helena cerberus)

This is an unmistakable butterfly with yellow hindwings, black forewings, yellow abdomen, red thorax ad black head.

Butterfly and Caterpillar at Alexandra Hospital Butterfly Trail ©Sylvia Chua

Penang Butterfly Park ©Eddy Lee

Common Rose (Pachliopta aristolochiae)

The red body and red spots on the mostly black wings distinguishes it from the other swallowtail butterflies. It also has some white patterns on its wings. There are 2 subspecies in Singapore. The white patch on the hind underwing of the Common Rose (P. a. asteris) distinguishes it from the Black Rose (P. a. antiphus).

Black Rose at Botanic Garden ©Lau SY

Common Mime (Chilasa clytia clytia)

This is the only butterfly in Singapore with black-and-white wings as well as body.

Sentosa ©Sylvia Chua

Five Bar Swordtail (Pathysa antiphates itamputi)

A distinctive butterfly and a very colourful one.

Singapore Quarry ©Tan KH

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