28 June 2014

Life History of the Fivebar Swordtail v2.0

Life History of the Fivebar Swordtail (Graphium antiphates itamputi)
An earlier version of the life history of the Fivebar Swordtail can be found by clicking this link.

Butterfly Biodata:
Genus: Graphium Scopoli, 1777
Species: antiphates Cramer, 1775
Subspecies: itamputi Butler, 1885
Wingspan of Adult Butterfly: 55-70mm
Local Caterpillar Host Plant: Uvaria grandiflora (Annonaceae).

Physical Description of Adult Butterfly:
The Fivebar Swordtail has a long and sword-like tail at vein 4 on the hindwing. On the upperside, the wings are white with a series of black stripes extending from the costa of the forewing. In the distal and basal areas, the inter-stripe space is yellowish green. The tornal area is greyish on the hindwing. On the underside, the forewing is marked as above, but the hindwing has its basal half green with black stripes and spots, and its distal half yellowish orange with small embedded black spots. The body is white in ground colour and yellowish orange dorso-laterally. There is also a lateral band of black spots, contiguous for most segments.

Field Observations of Butterfly Behaviour:
The Fivebar Swordtail is moderately common in Singapore. It is essentialy a forest denizen. The adults are strong and swift flyers. When in flight, they can easily be mistaken as white Pierid butterflies. The adults have been observed to visit flowers for nectar. The male is usually photographed puddling on damp ground in the nature reserve.