Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides podalirius)

Order: Lepidoptera (le-pid-OP-ter-a) (Info)
Family: Papilionidae (pap-ill-lee-ON-ih-dee) (Info)
Genus: Iphiclides
Species: podalirius

Members' Notes:

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positive
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RatingContent
Positive

On Sep 16, 2007, philomel from Castelnau RB Pyrenées
France (Zone 8a) wrote:

This is a fast and strong-flying butterfly, which typically glides while in flight. It is seen here in SW France in April/May and September, with the different generations having slightly different coloration and markings. A few can be seen during the summer.
Caterpillar food plants are Prunus spp. particularly Blackthorn (P. spinosa) and P. domestica.

There is a story that an English amateur naturalist thought that it was a rare sp. and named it the Scarce Swallowtail, not realising that it is actually common in southern europe. I can't vouch for the truth of the story...... It is certainly a very beautiful butterfly and I feel privileged to see it in my garden.