Byasa alcinous butterfly

Byasa alcinous is a butterfly of the family Papilionidae.

Distribution of Byasa alcinous

The Byasa alcinous’s distribution area is quite extensive and includes China, the Korean Peninsula, and Japan. On the territory of Russia, the northernmost part of the range is located. Alcinous is found only in the southern part of the Primorsky Krai in Russia.

Byasa alcinous is preferring to settle in broad-leaved forests along the banks of rivers and lakes, where Aristolochia must necessarily grow.

Description of Byasa alcinous

Byasa alcinous is one of the most elegant butterflies. Its wingspan is small and rarely reaches 1 cm. Its wings are dark brown in males and lighter in females, with a coffee shade and pronounced black veins. The lower part of the wings is brighter in both sexes than the upper one. Rear wings have a series of half-moon spots along with the edge, females yellow and males orange. At the end of the wing, there are dark caudal growths, reaching 2 cm in length.

The body is dark, pubescent with hair, and the males have several red spots on the chest and abdomen.

Caterpillars have numerous outgrowths on the body, which end in red dots. Colour is made up of alternating brown and white areas.

The behavior of Byasa alcinous

During the season, two generations of butterflies appear, the first in May of overwintered dolls, the second in mid-July. Summer butterflies are slightly smaller than spring ones. Byasa alcinous fly perfectly, but most of the time they spend sitting: males in the crown of trees, females in the grass. It feeds on nectar of flowers of Aristolochia, honeysuckle, and cherry. Byasa alcinous has few natural enemies, as caterpillars and butterflies are poisonous, which is indicated by bright red and yellow spots in their color. After fertilization, the female lays individual eggs on the young shoots of the Alcinous, thus avoiding competition in food with caterpillars of other species.

Byasa alcinous caterpillars feed on leaves, leaving them with characteristic cellular holes. They pupate on the lower side of the ground and winter near the surface with fallen leaves.

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