Butterflying Hobby: Papilioninae Subfamily #3 (Troidini Tribe):

This is my final of three posts in the Papilioninae Subfamily (Papilionidae Family) broken down by Tribe:

Within the Troidini Tribe, there are twelve genera:






To date, I have captured only 2 species from this vast tribe, both with an hour’s drive of Sanya, Hainan, China.

Common Rose Swallowtail (Pachliopta aristolochiae)

Pardon the blur and chromatic aberrations. I took these in a moment of frenzy when I realized that the “Great Mormon” I had been shooting had been replaced by this beauty for my first and only sighting—despite the butterfly’s wide distribution. The Troidini butterflies are larger than the average butterfly, and this one is no exception. Its red spots and body announce to one and all its toxicity, so predators steer clear. The Great Mormon, if fact, does mimic the Common Rose Swallowtail, so I can be forgiven for mistaking one for the other!

Common Birdwing (Troides helena)

I shot this massive butterfly from a distance of about 50 yards and was shocked at the detail from my cheap lens. The Common Bridwing (named in Latin after Helen of Troy) is a protected species in several countries (like Indonesia and India), and it remains highly sought-after by butterfly catchers worldwide. The T. helena has 17 subspecies: mine is likely T. helena spilotia.

Check back for more, as I’ll update these pages with new sightings as they happen!

©2021 E.T.

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