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Common Mormon or Papilio polytes

Butterflies have been fascinating the imagination of human mind from time immemorial. These flying insects are of the order Lepidoptera belonging to one of the super families of Hesperioidea and Papilionoidea. Butterflies are remarkable for their striking colours and beautiful patterns on their wings.

Common Mormon (Papilio polytes) belongs to the Swallowtail papilionidae species. The upper side of Common Mormon is black in colour. The fore wings have a terminal series of white or yellow spots, decreasing in size towards the apex. The hind wings are with a band of elongate white spots, and these are more prominent in females. The wingspan of the adults of are between 90 to 100 mm.

These butterflies are found mostly in human habitations, especially in the gardens and fields where curry-leaf, orange, lemons, etc. are cultivated. Open woods and gardens of low elevations are also the favourites of Common Mormons.

However, they are averse to wet places. Males fly swifter than females. Visits flowers of Dividivi, Acacias, Cassia, etc.
Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, China, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Malaysia, Japan, and Philippines are some other nations where common Mormons are found.