South African Swallowtail is Black Swordtail

3rd contribution
Dear Bugman,
I stumbled across your website last week and I love it! Well done for creating such a website – I spent most of my weekend going through your archives. I am so happy to see that there are many other bug lovers out there!
I am going to send you a collection of bug photos that I have taken over the years – I love bugs, but I don’t know enough about them to identify them so here are some bugs for you from South Africa to identify J. I’ll send them to you separately: 3.Butterfly A pretty butterly I photo graphed in Hluhluwe (South Africa) Cheers,

Hi Steph,
Once again, we can get very general, but not specific. This is a Swallowtail Butterfly. Many, but not all Swallowtail Butterflies are in the genus Papilio. Your other 10 requests might have to wait a bit.

Update:  March 4, 2016
We just received a comment that this is a Black Swordtail,
Graphium colonna, and once we researched that on iSpot, we agree.

2 thoughts on “South African Swallowtail is Black Swordtail”

  1. I don’t know if this will be any help to you, but the closest thing in my African Butterfly book is a Black Swordtail (Graphium Colonna). It has the pale blue colour, 4 lines nearest the body, the shortest on the forewing being wavy, and the forth (and longest) continuing into the hindwing. as well it has two red spots on the hindwings on the inside curve, and quite long tails that are black with white tips. Hope this helps.


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