Citrus Swallowtail

Papilio (Princeps) demodocus

The large Citrus Swallowtail butterfly (wingspan of 9 to 13cm) commonly occurs all over South Africa as well as the rest of the continent south of the Sahara, inhabiting a wide variety of habitats. They are strong fliers, often pausing on flowers and at mud puddles. Though they may be encountered throughout the year they are most frequently seen in the high summer, explaining why they’re also known as the “Christmas Butterfly”. Females lay eggs singly on the tops of leaves, the eggs hatching only a few days later. Their larvae can become pests in citrus orchards, Citrus-plants being just one of several related food plants utilised by this widely distributed species. Adults feed on nectar and rotting fruit.


15 thoughts on “Citrus Swallowtail

    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      One day I’d love to experience a snowy Christmas in the northern hemisphere, Janet, and you are always welcome to join us for a summer Christmas with lots of sunshine, outside meals and fun in the swimming pool!

      Liked by 2 people


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