Orchard Swallowtail

The male and female butterflies differ in colouring and pattern. They also fly in wide arcs and have a tendency to swoop.

When disturbed or touched, more mature caterpillars produce a red Y-shaped organ (osmeterium) from behind their head and emit a strong, rotting citrus odour as a warning to predators.

Scientific Name
Papilio aegeus
Feeds On
Citrus trees (Rutaceae)
Usual Location
Eastern Australia
Best Viewing
Throughout the year in the north, September to May in the south
Wing Span
The body is humped and tapering to the rear. Early stages can be mistaken for bird droppings. This assists them in not being eaten. Mature caterpillars are olive green with brown and white diagonal bands.
The pupa may be brown or green depending on the support structure on which they pupate. Fastened by a cremaster and a girdle, the head is pointed upward.