dimanche 14 août 2016

Flying zebra

The Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides podalirius) is a Palearctic swallowtail butterfly found in gardens, fields and open woodlands.

Its Latin name comes from Podalirius, son of Asclepius, god of medicine in ancient Greek mythology. With his brother, Machaon (name given to a closely related butterfly), he was highly valued surgeon and medic in the Trojan War on the side of the Greeks and took part of the Trojan horse commando.
It is also called Sail Swallowtail due to the form its wings when at rest.

It is widespread throughout Europe, with the exception of the northern parts, and eastwards across Asia Minor and Transcaucasia as far as the Arabian Peninsula, Pakistan and the Republic of India, and western China. A few specimens of the Scarce Swallowtail have been reported from central Sweden and the UK but they were probably only strays and not migrants. The scarcity of UK migrants is responsible for the English common name.

The Scarce Swallowtail is getting rarer as the blackthorn bushes are being cleared. The butterfly is now protected by law in several European countries.

Other butterflies of our valley: here

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