Distribution: All Europe and N Africa except the UK where it is
restricted to a very small part of E England in Norfolk Broads.
Identification: Its large size and bright yellow colour mean it is can
only be confused with the other Swallowtails. Follow this link for the
key to the Papilio. The
present species is by far the most widespread and usually most common.
Flight time: Number of broods varies with location. Single brooded in
the UK (May, June), triple brooded in the south (from as early as February until
Habitat: Diverse although tends to be associated with damper places
further north in its range. The larvae use many species of the Umbelliferae
(Carrots) and Rutaceae (Rues).
Behaviour: Range widely, often found singly well away from likely
breeding grounds (e.g. in the mountains or extremely dry hot barren places).
Frequently hill-top, the practice of males congregating at the top of a hill
where they circle each other and sail on the updrafts.
The specimens from Norfolk, UK have narrower forewings. Speculation is that
this prevents individuals migrating away from the restricted breeding grounds
and being lost to the colonies. In the rest of Europe they are wide ranging,
often observed travelling purposefully through a habitat or area. Often they are
seen in towns and cities presumably passing through during dispersal.
Disappointing quality and pink hue from
the slide scanner - the original slide is superb.