20x15x6cm frame (black)
Papilio nireus, the African blue-banded swallowtail, is a butterfly of the family Papilionidae. It is found all over Sub-Saharan Africa apart from in Madagascar and the Comoros, with this specimen coming from Iganga, Uganda. Although it is a member of the Swallowtail family this particular species has no actual tails. Their broad distribution leads to a fair amount of colour differences depending on the location they are from, with the colour of the wingstripes ranging from light green to shimmering turquoise or metallic eggshell blue like this one.
It is a forest species, most commonly seen along logging roads or in secondary forest, but it also penetrates savannah habitats where it flies along riparian edges. It has migratory tendencies, so can also be found in botanical gardens, arboreta, parks and even occasionally in city gardens.
Males commonly settle at damp patches on logging roads, often in groups of 4 or 5, to drink mineralised moisture. When doing so they constantly open and close their wings, as if fanning the air in the area.