I don't think I remember seeing this butterfly in our little vegetable garden before. It was about midday when this beautiful butterfly hovered and hopped around. Huh, the little lemon tree seemed to be its favourite place. After circling a couple of times, it rested at the tip of the plant, long enough for me to grab the camera and snap. I managed to get just one shot, before it darted away . That little tail is very exotic indeed......... A quick check indicates that this is
The Red Helen Papilio helenus is a large swallowtail butterfly found in forests in southern India and parts of Southeast Asia.
- A large black prominently tailed butterfly. It has a wingspan of 100 to 120 mm.
- It has a prominent large yellow discal patch on its upper hindwings, which is characteristic of the species.
- On the under hindwing it has a row of red submarginal lunules.A very striking butterfly which immediately draws attention by the large white patch on the upper hind wing. When it rests, it draws back the fore wings to hide this spot and becomes quite inconspicuous when this spot gets hidden.
A powerful flier with a rapid but irregular path. It usually flies low. It often leaves the jungle to fly along valleys and across tea gardens. It is a frequent visitor to gardens and can be caught easily while hovering a flower or sipping from a damp spot.