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Photographer's Note

The Common Mormon (Papilio polytes) is a common and widespread Swallowtail butterfly. It gets its name from its host plants which are usually citrus species such as the lime. It is also sometimes called the Chequered Swallowtail. Unlike most swallowtail butterflies it does not have a prominent tail. It is perhaps the most widely distributed swallowtail in the world.

It basks with its wings held wide open on tufts of grass, herbs and generally keeps within a metre above the ground, even on cloudy days. It relies on its quick flight for escape. It is an interesting butterfly and has a number of modes of flight. In the morning, the flight is slow considering that it is an edible and unprotected swallowtail. As the day progresses, it flies fast, straight and low. In the hotter part of the day, it may be found settling on damp patches where it will remain motionless, except for an occasional flutter of wings, if not disturbed.

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Additional Photos by Archana Bhimasen (archanabhimasen) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 89 W: 2 N: 31] (270)
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