Saturday, January 16, 2010

Papilio helenus

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
Papilio helenus.

Extra Information:
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.

Putrajaya, Malaysia.


  1. It's a lovely butterfly, for sure. We're sooo many months from butterflies now, so I take great comfort in seeing yours.

  2. I've never seen a butterfly quite like it. It's beautiful.

  3. How beautiful. I love that it almost totally black.

  4. What an amazing butterfly!!Good work for catching it in a photo. They certainly don't stand still for us.

  5. Bangchik it is so wonderful to see butterflies. It is a gorgeous one too. Beautiful pictures.

  6. How fun to have a new visitor in the garden, wonderful that you were able to ID it.

  7. I'm always excited to see new visitors (especially butterflies) to the garden. Great picture!

  8. What a beautiful butterfly! I am glad you noticed him and were able to capture a picture to share with us.

  9. Such an elegant butterfly :-D I wish I could see them in real one day. Enjoy your weekend!

  10. JODI

    Hello.... "I dance like a butterfly and sting like a bee". Words made famous by Mohamad Ali, the greatest alltime heavyweight boxer.

    I seldom had luck with butterflies, because they moved fast, darting and dancing. Sometimes the small yellow and greyish ones visited our garden. Rushing for the camera was quite long for these butterflies. They loved to move around, not allowing a steady close-up.

    I do hope luck will be on my side, for the next encounter with butterflies..... I know some bloggers had excellent time with them, coming up with numerous pretty pictures.

    Have a great weekend everyone.


  11. Oh I remember Mohamad Ali - I used to be afraid of him! Youre little new visitor to the garden looks exquisite. I hope it becomes a regular to your place.

  12. Very striking shots Bangchik

  13. >>> leavesnbloom
    Yea, I really hope so. I also hope they rest on flowers long enough for me to run for camera and stay for a good pose!! ~bangchik

  14. >>>> Joanne:

    Luck was really on side for that shot. The Red Helen may just dart away even before I grab the camera. haha... ~ bangchik

  15. That's a beutiful butterfly! We have to wait a few months before the will be seen here again. But I don't find ours as exotic as yours. Have a nice weekend / gittan

  16. >>> Gittan, thanks for the visit. haha... same thing, I have been enjoying snow by looking at your blog. So while plants and butterflies are enjoying their rest in Sweden, come to my blog and enjoy what's tropical! ~bangchik

  17. Seeing butterflies is lovely, but not to the caterpillars.

    My plant went botak only then I see caterpillars.

  18. Butterflies are so beautiful. Once one was in my greenhouse and strangely enough I held out the end of my finger. It lit on the fingertip and I walked out of the greenhouse with my little passenger!

  19. >>>>GREEN IRIS

    Lucky you!!.. That Red Helen won't let me get any closer. ~bangchik

  20. Beautiful shot! I've taken many photos of this butterfly but none like this!:(

  21. >>>> Kanak.., thanks for the compliment. A pure one lucky shot! ~bangchik


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