Another wonderful day on Koh Tao, but finding 95 species of butterflies ( excluding Hesperiidae ) on such a small island means when spotted one more new species rush the adrenaline up. Doing some paper work at the office where we rent a place I was automatically looking around thru the glass door just incase some butterfly could fly by. And then in the middle of the conversation with office girl I have noticed a Papilionid butterfly flying across the road interested about the roadside bush. Well I could not hold more then one minute . I was hoping that the lep will just fly around and vanished away but NO! Disrupting conversation I have excused a girl explaining that I have to go out now to catch a butterfly...looking around to spot my net grabbing it I rushed on the other side to find that it is a Graphium Sp. Aiming the target and effectively missing it embarrassing of my catching skills I turned around with hope that no one would see it. No, few local girls were sitting nearby and enjoyed my show. Smiling and explaining that I just missed a butterfly I have return to the office as nothing just happened. Next day I have return to that bush to investigate it and I found some eggs and few caterpillars of Graphium doson evemonides which I have already collected once on the island.
Now I am babysitting them and hope to have some fresh nice specimens soon.
Graphium agamemnon is very common on Koh Tao as well as G.sarpedon. Now I can see more of G.doson specimen and I have collected one specimen of G.nomius. I have seen two other similar specimens flying but I can not confirm if that was also G.nomius or perhaps other swordtails papilio.
The problem is to collect them as there is no river or stream where they would come to drink minerals. They are all very fast flyers and very difficult to net.
That is interesting, can you please post a photo of the specimen of Graphium nomius, just the underside if it is papered is fine. I think this may be the most southerly record of this species, assuming that it is not G. aristeus.
Indeed it must be rather difficult to catch them if there is no place for them to mud puddle. You could try to make an artificial mud puddle with lots of water and some urine on a path in a forested area where they fly.
I have taken pictures of this specimen before I papered it just to make sure I can do proper identification. I was also surprised in fact I was sure that it is G.aristeus when I have seen it on the wing as it is found on Koh Samui.
I have tried a lot of urine but no water as it is hard to find here when no rain. No butterfly was attracted and there was few G.sarpedon flying around too.
That is indeed Graphium nomius swinhoei, and an important record.
For those who don't know how to distinguish this from Graphium aristeus, note the second submarginal spot from the FW apex is out of line with the other spots. In Graphium aristeus these spots are not rounded, and all are in line.
PS. Indeed butterflies will not respond to urine if the ground is dry. Urine only works well on wet ground if there are no streams, so it's no good if there isn't any rain. I once managed to make a mud-puddle using a 20 litre water bottle and pouring urine on afterwards, but it's not ideal.
Paul, at least in Papiliopnidae it is not uncommon that pupae may have some basic pupae color variations. Often pupae will ajust their color to their pupation environmnt for camouflage purposes. A dark (often grey or brown nuances) indicates pupation at a mature branch or dry leaf/litter, while the green colored pupae obviously try to imitate green foliage. Sometimes pupae of certain species may even be intermediate in color, to maximize camouflage.
I feel pretty sure saying that both pupae on the "fresh" leaf are Gr. doson. I noticed that the dark one in the middle is detached from the leaf... and likely pupated some place away from bright light!?