Papilio chikae Igarashi, 1965

Arthropod - Insect

Swallowtail Butterfly; Paru-paro
Endangered (IUCN)

The swallowtail butterfly is described in two forms and is separable in two groups by the tinge of bluish patch in spaces 4,5,6 on the hindwing above. The blue patched group is predominant in the spring form, while the green patched ones are abundant in the summer form. The female can be distinguished from the male by their more developed red spots and longer tails.

This swift flying butterfly which belongs to Family Papilionidae is endemic to Northern Luzon particularly the Mountain Province. The Papilio chikae is the most colorful and the most sought after by butterfly collectors and hobbyists alike. Hence, it is the most expensive butterfly in the Philippines. Aside from its beauty, the difficulty in collecting this species adds to its rarity. This particular species is usually found in the mountain peaks and ridges of Baguio City and Bontoc areas. It occurs almost all year round with short recesses from November to January. The spring form occurs from the end of January to April while the summer form occurs from the middle of April to November. This butterfly can be bred in captivity provided that the food source for both the young and adult is available.

The swallowtail butterfly can be captured by the use of a butterfly net. Collected butterflies are pressed at the thorax region and placed in paper triangles to avoid damage to the wings during transport. Butterflies are preserved by spreading its wings on mounting board and air dried or placed in artificial drier for about one week. They are fixed by pins and stored in butterfly boxes with granulated PDB (Paradichlorobenzene) or Napthalene to avoid insect pests from damaging the specimens.

This page was last modified Tuesday, June 21, 2011
National Museum of the Philippines
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