Common swallowtail

Papilio machaon syriacus

An unmistakably large yellow and black tailed butterfly, the commoner of the swallowtails, with a wingspan of 60-100 mm, the females often being larger. The common lives in many different habitats, such as farmland, flower-rich meadows, mountain pastures, woodland, and riversides, especially on lower slopes and along the coast. Host plants are represented mainly by numerous species of umbellifers such as fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), bishop’s-weed (Ammi majus), dill (Anethum graveolens), wild celery (Apium graveolens), hemlock (Conium maculatum), rock samphire (Crithmum maritimum), and wild carrot (Daucus carota). This butterfly flies February through October, high up in the air like all swallowtails, hilltopping during courtship.

Video

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