The Alpine Black Swallowtail

All butterflies belong to the class of insects (order Lepidoptera). Adult butterflies have big, often colorful wings, and small body, they flying is unique because their fluttering. All butterflies must pass three stadiums in their life, polymorphism, mimicry and aposematism. Although they are usually not dangerous to plants, some species even destroy harmful insects, there are a few species that are destroying crops and trees.

The Alpine Black Swallowtail is a member of the Papilionidae family. They can be found in China, Japan, and South Korea. Their wingspan is from 12 to 14 cm, body is black, but there are some green scales, (wings of a male are also black with green scales, but the underside is brown). Hindwings are also black with a different colored scale, underside is lightly brown, and there is an eye on the one side.

Females have brighter colors and they are more vibrant than males.
The Alpine Black Swallowtail starts its life in an egg. It is glued to a leaf and usually after a few weeks they hatch. Egg laid close to the winter will wait spring to hatch, because they cannot survive the winter. When they hatch, the larva is called caterpillars. They spend all time eating leaves (but there are some insect-eating species), some are known to make an alliance with the ants.

Wings are developing at this stage, but they are fully developed only in pupation stage (a stage when the caterpillar stops eating and start transforming in the butterflies). After pupation stage, fully adult butterfly is finally free. But sadly, adults butterflies live only a few weeks, up to one year (depending on a species), and their purpose is reproduction.

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