BUTTERFLIES ON ABACO (6): FOCUS ON SWALLOWTAILS
I’ve mentioned the swallowtail butterflies of Abaco before, but I have never shown the 3 main species together. They are such handsome creatures that’s it time to give them a place in the sun. These are my favourite butterflies. Ah yes – equally with the wonderful ATALA HAIRSTREAK.
BAHAMA (BAHAMIAN) SWALLOWTAIL
This fine swallowtail Papilio andraemon has a range beyond the islands of the Bahamas. It is also found on Cuba and Jamaica. Occasionally they are found as strays on the Florida Keys or on the mainland in the Miami region.
POLYDAMUS (‘GOLD-RIM’) SWALLOWTAIL
This is the species you are most likely to encounter as they cruise rapidly from flower to flower, constantly on the move, with wings fluttering even as they feed. Hard to get good photos of them, therefore. But some (though sadly not me) manage it somehow…
I suspect this species – common in the eastern USA – is quite rare on Abaco. I have never seen one, and these ones photographed by Uli Nowlan at Treasure Cay are the only pictures I have seen. And what lovely creatures they are.
RIGHT SPECIES, WRONG CONTINENT – EUROPEAN SWALLOWTAIL
RIGHT COUNTRY, WRONG CREATURE – BAHAMA SWALLOW TAIL, ABACO
WRONG CREATURE, WRONG CONTINENT – EUROPEAN SWALLOW TAIL
RIGHT EVERYTHING, HOPELESS PHOTO (how they usually behave for me…)
Credits: Uli Nowlan, Rhonda Pearce, Nina Henry, Charmaine Albury, plus disappointments for RH