Eurytides dolicaon – the Dolicaon Kite Swallowtail
Graphium androcles – the Giant Swordtail
Graphium androcles has the longest tails amongst all members of the Graphium family.
Eurytides dolicaon is a lowland species, found in association with wet primary rainforest at altitudes from sea level to about 400m.
It can be found in Central and Southern America (Guyana, south-eastern Brazil, Paraguay, Peru, eastern Colombia, eastern Ecuador, and north-western Venezuela). This particular specimen is from Peru.
The butterflies have a rapid straight-line flight at canopy level, but will descend when migrating along river courses, and visit wet sandbanks in company with groups of mud-puddling Protographium and Protesilaus species. All three genera "filter-feed", sucking up large quantities of water, from which they extract dissolved minerals, while regularly squirting jets of expelled liquids from the anus. The fact that all three genera aggregate at certain spots, usually separate from feeding groups of Nymphalidae or Pieridae, suggests that they are reliant upon particular minerals that are concentrated in one area.
This species, more so than other Swordtails, is hesitant and nervous when visiting sandbanks. It tends to dip down, briefly taste the damp sand to test its suitability, and then move on, but having found a suitable feeding spot, usually where other Swordtails are aggregating, it will remain settled for several minutes.
These butterflies have been prepared in the UK to museum standards and are displayed in a deep handmade shadowbox frame, mounted on white conservation-grade foam. The back of the frame is covered in really special Italian decorative paper, with a brass hook for hanging it on the wall (but it also stands perfectly on a mantlepiece or a table). They are completely sealed inside the frame and will last for generations.