Emerald Swallowtail

emerald-swallowtail-1The emerald swallowtail’s scientific name is Papilio palinurus. Papilio means “butterfly” and palinurus refers to the captain in Virgil’s epic poem, the Aeneid. This Latin name implies that the emerald swallowtail is a navigator of sorts.

The emerald swallowtail’s outside wing color is comprised of dusty grays with some blue and orange dots towards the bottom of the wing. The inside colors are dusky dark green with a sudden streak of radiation green angled on either side. Some people speculate that the emerald swallowtail uses the bright inside coloration to confuse predators from above, and the dull outside colors to camouflage the swallowtail from potential predators below.

This butterfly is native to Southeast Asia. It primarily lives in forested regions. The caterpillars feed on members of the citrus family and can become pests.