Papilio machaon (Koninginnenpage (BE) / Old World Swallowtail (EN) / Schwalbenschwanz (DE) / Machaon (FR) ) is a butterfly of the family Papilionidae. This striking butterfly is yellow with black wing and vein markings and with a wingspan of 8 to 10 cm it is the largest butterfly to be found in Belgium. The hind wings of both sexes have a pair of protruding tails which give the butterfly its common name from the resemblance to the birds of the same name. Just below each tail is a red eye spot.
Despite it's common name it is not restricted to the "Old World" but occurs throughout the Palearctic region in Europe, Asia and across North America.
In Belgium the species was formerly widespread but today it is near threatened, most observed in the south of the country.
I showed the beautiful colored caterpillar on 26 july and 27 july.
Image: Bassenge (BE) - 09/08/2010
© Johan Dierckx
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