Citrus Swallowtail, christmas butterfly, orange dog
Adult. The female is larger than the male and the anterior blue spots
of her hindwings (obscured here) have orange on the outer side as opposed
to yellow in the male.
This is the common, large black and pale yellow butterfly seen regularly
in gardens in South Africa and also occurring in natural vegetation. It
occurs in open, often disturbed, habitats throughout Africa south of the
Sahara, as well as on the Cape Verde Islands, Madagascar and Mauritius
(Ackery et al. 1995). It can be a pest of citrus saplings in nurseries
and, although found on mature citrus trees, does not cause sufficient
damage to warrant instituting control measures. On young plants, if larvae
and pupae do reach high levels, the best control procedure is evidently
to simply pick them off by hand.
The Citrus swallowtail passes through about three generations during spring,
summer and autumn, and the winter period is usually spent hibernating
as a pupa. One can, however, see the occasional adult during winter.