One of the most spectacular butterflies is undoubtedly the majestic Macaon (Papilio Machaon)

This butterfly is widespread in Europe, Asia, America and can also be found in city parks, in the countryside or in the woods. In India this butterfly is a protected species.

Quite simple to recognize due to its size, design and color of its wings. The wings of Papilio Machaon are characterized by the yellow color with black veins and the characteristic presence of a blue crown and a red spot and, above all, by the typical tails.

The swallowtail butterflies fly from March to September.

It is one of the largest daytime butterflies in Italy, in fact its wingspan can reach up to 10 cm.

Papilio Machaon feeds on the following nectarine plants such as Lantana Camara, Buddleja, Lonicera, Verbena, Cardo la Valeriana.

But in my region there is an endemic species, endangered (Papilio hospiton), the so-called Sardinian Machaon which is a species also present in Corsica. It is a butterfly very similar to the Papilio Machaon but has a smaller wingspan and its tails are smaller. Even its breeding habitat is different and specific.

This butterfly Papilio hospiton was discovered in the last century by Géné, an abbot-naturalist, and his name Hospiton is in memory of the legendary barbaric chief who lived during the period of the domination of the ancient Romans.

For the deposition of the eggs and the growth of the larval state, the butterfly Papilio hospiton uses only one plant, the ferula, which is typical of the Mediterranean scrub.

I hope to meet you soon These are some photos of the most common Machaon!

Use Nikon D3200 Sigma 105 mm.


FIORI, G. (1964) Papilio hospiton Géné. Natura e Montagna, Anno IV, N. 4:192-194.

CLARKE, C.A. and SHEPPARD, P.M. (1955) A further report on the genetics of the machaon group of Swallowtail Butterflies. Evolution 10: 66-73.

KETTLEWELL, H.B.D. (1955) The natural history of Papilio hospiton in Corsica.

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