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Lemon Butterfly or Papilio demoleus

Lemon Butterfly (Papilio demoleus) is also known by the names Lime Butterfly, Citrus Butterfly, Lime Swallowtail and Chequered Swallowtail. It is one of the most common butterflies in the country and is abundant in the plains of Kerala. They migrate in large numbers in the months of October- February.

The upper side of the Lemon Butterfly is black with yellow spots. The hind wings don’t have a tail and there are brick red oval spots interiorly bordered with blue lunule at the inner margin and a bluish spot near the costal margin. There are yellow wavy markings at the base of both wings. The hind wings have blue-bordered orange spots in the middle. Wingspan is 80-100mm.

Lemon Butterflies are commonly seen on the wings throughout the year in quick and strong flight. They gather in hundreds in mud puddles with closed wings to drink water and visit flowers of all citrus, radishes, curry leaf etc.