Scarlet Mormon (Papilio rumanzovia)

Order: Lepidoptera (le-pid-OP-ter-a) (Info)
Family: Papilionidae (pap-ill-lee-ON-ih-dee) (Info)
Genus: Papilio (pap-ILL-ee-oh) (Info)
Species: rumanzovia

Members' Notes:

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positive
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neutrals
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negatives
RatingContent
Positive

On Mar 20, 2008, debnes_dfw_tx from Fort Worth, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

This striking swallowtail actually has no tails at all, however like other similar mormon butterflies they originated in Southern Asia and Australia. Caterpillar host plants are most likely Rutaceae.

The origins of giving common English names to organisms, particularly butterflies for tropical species started in India around the mid 19th century ... The naming of Mormons evolved slowly. I think the first to get such a name was the Common Mormon (Papilio polytes), because it had three different females, a fact that could only have been observed in the field, and this they did in India. The name obviously reflected the ... Mormon sect in America, which as we know, practiced polygamy. Another school of thought as to why these 3 species are dubbed “Mormon”: ... read more