Wednesday, November 09, 2011

NHM Butterflies: The Great Mormon (Papilio memnon)

Male Great Mormon (Papilio memnon) along with a mystery butterfly that I had not noticed until after I uploaded the photo. ^^;; Can you see it?

Yet another insanely sexually dimorphic Swallowtail. Smh......The females have numerous forms, with and without tails and mimic other poisonous Swallowtails. Someone needs to write a book on these too. All of them. Thing is there are books on Swallowtails and I'll be buying them ASAP after I get some other books out of the way......but there needs to be one solely on the sexually dimorphic Papilionidae.

They need to have like an identification guide or something for all the different forms the females of various species take, what they mimic, and how to tell the difference.

Is there anything like this already out there? Names and Authors please if so.

Now on to business!


Idk why this came out so dark.....>_< Male

Great Mormon (Papilio memnon):


TONS of males flying and perching around this one plant (see first photo) looking stunning. I now wonder why this was so? Was this just something that happened because of being "enclosed" (it's a big place so excuse my lack of proper words) in an area or is this a natural male behavior of some sort like puddling?

The last one I remember seeing & photographing is the one that was perched on one of the feeders looking absolutely stunning. Again photos DO NOT do any of these justice as they're details that cameras sometimes don't capture unfortunately.

One day I'll look into micro cameras should I ever get the money to do so. Lottery tickets perhaps? >:)

For this there will be a part 2 since I've made some very interesting discoveries!


Cyren said...

Oh i love the great mormons!!! They're very common around here since I started breeding them and to answer your question, yes they tend to do that even in the wild. I think it's their way of jousting with each other for spots to attract females from. Sometimes I spot as many as five males doing that over a lime plant until one female flutters by... they then start following her in a long line (like a procession) until one eventually perseveres and mates with her while the other males return to their original spot over the lime plant.

Brittanie said...

Ohhhhhh that sounds breathtaking to witness! I'm not really familiar with the courtship behaviors of Papilionidae so I have to learn more.

And let me guess you love Great Mormons like I love my Lunas yes? *^^*