Zebra swallowtail butterfly

Zebra swallowtail butterfly

Eurytides protesilaus

Brazil, Óbidos


Where can you see them? Central America, Southern America and Trinidad. They like open, sunny spaces in the forest.

What do they eat? Like a number of species of male butterflies, these swallowtails ‘puddle’. This means that they gather in groups on damp ground, rotting fruit and wee, and suck up the nutrients (salts and chemicals used to make protein). The male needs these nutrients to mate successfully. Females feed on nectar but are also given ‘puddling’ nutrients by the males.

Are they endangered? They are not currently endangered. The greatest threat to the survival of butterflies is the degradation and destruction of their habitat. Swallowtail butterflies are sold as decorative objects and as livestock for live exhibits. Several countries have set up butterfly farms and sell these butterflies. Farming is good because it takes the pressure off wild populations and provides a useful source of income to local people. More of these farms are required to meet current demand.

Linked objects: Dolicaon Swordtail butterfly

Related images: Zebra swallowtail