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Blue Mormon or Papilio polymnestor

A butterfly is a flying insect of the order Lepidoptera belonging to one of the super families of Hesperioidea and Papilionoidea. These insects are remarkable for their striking colours and beautiful patterns on their wings.

Kerala is home to about 330 varieties of butterflies. Of these, 37 are native to this region.

India belongs to the oriental zoological region and the geographical features of this part of land are well reflected in the flora and fauna of Kerala, too.

Blue Mormon, (Papilio polymnestor) belonging to the Swallowtail family is found in heavy rainfall regions of the state. In India, it is mostly seen in southern India, western Ghats and the east coast.

Mormon is a slow flier and is more attached to the ground. Flowers of Land-Caltrops, Lantana, Chinese Chaste tree, Tall Chaste tree, Monk’s Pepper tree etc. are preferred by these butterflies. They are mostly found during the early morning hours.

Blue Mormon has a colour combination of blue, black and white. The underside of the male is glossy red while that of the female is of dull colour. The wingspan of the Mormon is 50-65 mm.

When disturbed, Mormons exude a yellowish, bad smelling oily liquid, perhaps for self-protection.