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Swallowtail butterfly (4)
Swallowtail butterfly (11)

The Swallowtail Papilio machaon britannicus is the UK's largest butterfly and one of our rarest, confined to the fenlands of the Norfolk Broads.
These pages are in homage of this very attractive butterfly and serve as a pictorial article on this species' life-cycle along with some observations made at Hickling in 2011.

Swallowtail butterfly (12)

Egg-laying on Milk Parsley

Eggs (1)

Egg darkens with age

Eggs (2)

Newly-laid egg

Larvae 2-3 instar (5)

Shedding skin

Larvae 2-3 instar (1)
Larvae (2)

1st instar larvae to final instar (4 instars (shedding of skin) in total).....

Larvae 2-3 instar (4)
Larvae 2-3 instar (3)
Larvae 2-3 instar (2)
Larvae (3)
Larvae (5)
Larvae (1)

Final instar

Larvae assuming position

Assuming the position
to pupate on reed stem

Larvae (4)
Larvae (6)


Larvae 2-3 instars (4)
Larvae 2-3 instars (3)

Left and centre: Diseased final instar showing osmeterium (orange projections)-produced when alarmed or in distress. Larvae eventually died.

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