A Swallowtail Selection
40x30x6cm Frame (black, openable frame)
Clockwise from top:
Papilio blumei (Sulawesi, Indonesia)
Papilio androgeus (Loreto Province, Peru)
Papilio ulysses (Bachan Island, Indonesia)
Papilio rumanzovia (Leyte Island, Philippines)
Papilio blumei – this butterfly is found only on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. The arresting colouration is due not to pigmentation but to the effect of refraction – light bouncing off the intricate microscopic structures in the scales themselves. Scientists have attempted to replicate the metallic and iridescent colouring as it could be used in anti-forgery technology for banknotes and credit cards. For more information, take a look at this fascinating article here: http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/how-butterflies%E2%80%99-wings-could-cut-bank-fraud
Papilio androgeus, the Queen Swallowtail, is found from Mexico to Argentina with a small population in southern Florida. This specimen originates from Peru.
Papilio ulysses is found in the Australasia / Indomalaya ecozone, with this specimen originating from the Bachan Islands, Indonesia. The central splash of bright, electric blue is surrounded by a velvet black, all set off inside the black frame. The males are especially attracted to blue objects, even from a distance of 30 metres. Collectors often exploit this by using a piece of blue paper or cloth to attract the butterflies.
Papilio rumanzovia – this is one of the most striking butterflies of them all, with the red spots clustering around the base of the hindwings on the underside like a string of rubies. It is displayed underside-up (the upper side is dull in comparison, black with some smudges of creamy grey). This species is found in the Philippines and Indonesia, with this particular specimen originating from Leyte Island, Philippines.
Please note that the red colouring on this butterfly’s wings comes from pigmentation rather than refraction (see my Morpho specimens for descriptions of refraction and their uses), so it will fade slowly if left in direct sunlight.