Papilio machaon Linnaeus, 1758


Papilio machaon: Adult (Crete, early May 2013) [N] Papilio machaon: Adult (Crete, early May 2013) [N] Papilio machaon: Adult (eastern Spain, Tarragona, July 2013) [N] Papilio machaon: Adult (e.o. Crete 2013) [S] Papilio machaon: Adult Papilio machaon: Adult (Spanish west Pyrenees, July 2010) [N] Papilio machaon: Adult (Schwńbisch Hall, S-Germany, July 2010) [N] Papilio machaon: Female (eastern Swabian Alb, S÷hnstetten, August 2013) [N] Papilio machaon: Female (eastern Swabian Alb, S÷hnstetten, August 2013) [N] Papilio machaon: Adult (Samos, May 2009) [N] Papilio machaon: Adult (Samos, May 2009) [N] Papilio machaon: Totally worn adult at the end of its life (after supposedly 3 weeks) [N] Papilio machaon: Adult feeding on Dianthus carthusianorum (eastern Swabian Alb, 2009) [N] Papilio machaon: Adult (Crete, early May 2013) [N] Papilio machaon: Adult (e.o. Crete 2013) [S] Papilio machaon: Oviposition at Pimpinella saxifraga (eastern Swabian Alb, August 2013) [N] Papilio machaon: Egg shortly after oviposition (eastern Swabian Alb, August 2013) [N] Papilio machaon: Ovum [N] Papilio machaon: Ovum [N] Papilio machaon: Ovum (Samos, May 2009) [N] Papilio machaon: Egg at Foeniculum (Crete, May 2013) [N] Papilio machaon: Egg (eastern Spain, Castell˛n, July 2013) [S] Papilio machaon: Egg after some days (Crete 2013) [S] Papilio machaon: L1 (e.o. Crete 2013) [S] Papilio machaon: L1 (e.o. Crete 2013) [S] Papilio machaon: L2 (e.o. Crete 2013) [S] Papilio machaon: L2 (e.o. Crete 2013) [S] Papilio machaon: L2 (eastern Spain, Castell˛n, July 2013) [N] Papilio machaon: Young larva (Provence, France, June 2009) [N] Papilio machaon: Young larva (Samos, May 2009) [N] Papilio machaon: Half-grown larva (L3) [S] Papilio machaon: Larva in penultimate instar (e.o. Crete 2013) [S] Papilio machaon: Larva in penultimate instar (e.o. Crete 2013) [S] Papilio machaon: Larva in penultimate instar (eastern Spain, Castell˛n , July 2013) [N] Papilio machaon: Larva (e.o. Crete 2013) [S] Papilio machaon: Larva (e.o. Crete 2013) [S] Papilio machaon: Larva (e.o. Crete 2013) [S] Papilio machaon: Larva (Rhodes, September 2013) [N] Papilio machaon: Larva (Rhodes, Kolymbia, September 2013) [N] Papilio machaon: Larva [M] Papilio machaon: Larva (eastern Swabian Alb, Southern Germany, September 2009) [N] Papilio machaon: Larva (eastern Swabian Alb, Southern Germany, September 2009) [N] Papilio machaon: Larva, dark autumn form, end October 2007, eastern Swabian Alb [N] Papilio machaon: Larva (e.o. Crete 2013) [S] Papilio machaon: Larva (Rhodes, Kolymbia, September 2013) [M] Papilio machaon: Larva (Rhodes, Kolymbia, September 2013) [M] Papilio machaon: Pupa (e.o. Crete 2013) [S] Papilio machaon: Pupa (e.o. Crete 2013) [S] Papilio machaon: Pupa in the winter - brown version [S] Papilio machaon: Pupa in the winter-green form [S] Papilio machaon: Pupa (Mallorca, late March 2008) [N] Papilio machaon: On Foeniculum vulgare there is sometimes a higher larvae density. Here you can see 3 caterpillars (Rhodes, September 2013) [N] Papilio machaon: In Southern Europe the species penetrates into fallow land in human settlements especially with Foeniculum vulgare (Rhodes, September 2013) [N] Papilio machaon: Oviposition place in Samos: Foeniculum in an embankment (more than 10 ovae and young larvae, May 2009) [N] Papilio machaon: Habitat on the eastern Swabian Alb, Southern Germany: nutrient-poor grassland with Pimpinella saxifraga [N] Papilio machaon: Oviposition habitat with Pimpinella saxifraga on the eastern Swabian Alb (August 2013) [N]

Host plants:
The larvae feed on Apiaceae, particularly Pimpinella saxifraga, Pastinaca sativa and Peucedanum sp. More rarely the caterpillar lives on Rutaceae (e.g. Dictamnus albus or Citrus). In Southern Europe Foeniculum vulgare is a very important host plant as own larval observations show (Samos, Rhodes, Crete, Spain, Portugal).

Habitat:
Papilio machaon can live in a broad variety of open and half open habitats. It is also found on
larger clearings. But it can reproduce only where the area is not mown more than once or twice a year, so not in todays intense agricultural grassland. The highest larval concentrations usually occur in sunny limestone grasslands with Pimpinella saxifraga.

Some populations have specialized on certain types of habitat, such as the extremely local population in England that only live in fens.

Life cycle:
Papilio machaon occurs in Central Europe mostly in two, rarely three generations per year. In Southern Europe the third generation is more regular. The pupa overwinters. The butterflies are on the wing from April to September and are especially in the spring often observed when hilltopping (males congregate on hilltops for courtship).

The larvae feed from late April or May to October, in Southern Europe even in November (N-Portugal, 02/11/2013, near Caminha).

Endangerment: regionally endangered or decreasing

Endangerment factors:
In cleared, inhospitable landscapes as in large parts of Northern Germany, even this actually quite undemanding species becomes more and more rare. Where nutrient-poor grasslands still exist as in the Jura mountains, caterpillars are sometimes observed in larger numbers.

Remarks:
The caterpillar may also occur in gardens on carrots, fennel, dill, etc., where they should be left as it causes no real damage.

Papilio machaon occurs from Northwest Africa across Europe (in England only very locally) and Asia to Japan and is also found in North America (holarctic distribution type).



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