Machaon Swallowtail-Papilio machaon #34

Image Size: 10″ x 7-3/4″

Widespread throughout the northern hemisphere, the Machaon swallowtail is commonly found in the meadows, fens and mountainous areas of Europe across Asia to Japan. This butterfly has also been observed in the arctic and subarctic areas of Canada and Alaska and found up to elevations of 4,300 m. Recognized by its bold pale yellow and black pattern with the wide hindwing black band dusted in iridescent blue, there is an enlarged red eyespot on the posterior hindwing which is capped in a bluish-white lunule etched in black. The forewings are somewhat square-cut, and the hindwing tails are abbreviated.

Similar to some other butterflies, Papilio machaon will establish a territory and patrol an area with suitable nectar laden flowers; however, this swallowtail is occasionally migratory. Sometimes known simply as “the swallowtail,” Papilio machaon is infrequently encountered in certain areas due to the loss of its wetland habitats and is now protected by law throughout Great Britain.

Text by Jacqueline Miller, Ph. D., Associate Curator, Allyn Museum of Entomology, Florida Museum of Natural History and Former President, The Lepidopterists’ Society

Interested buyers please contact Tracy Morrison (Conservation Design) at Email:; Phone: 1-781-585-9871;
Located in Duxbury MA