Blue Mormon butterfly (Papilio polymnestor) belongs to the group of Swallowtail butterflies and is endemic to South India and Sri Lanka. They are fairly large and seen throughout the year.
I have seen the butterfly attracted to Ixora and Pagoda flowers in my garden for feeding, as is evident in these pictures. Hibiscus and Jasmine also are preferred food source. But the host plant for the larvae is Citrus plant.
The life cycle is similar to other swallowtails, with the caterpillar passing through five instars before the metamorphosis. If interested, you can view my posts on Common Mormon and Lime butterfly to see some stages of life cycle.
Blue Mormon is the State butterfly of the Indian state of Maharashtra.
It’s the life of a Lime butterfly (Papilio demoleus)….the cycle that is completed in my garden. I could get all stages but eggs.
The common names, Lime butterfly or Lemon butterfly, refer to their host plants, which are usually citrus species such as the cultivated lime.
The caterpillars are voracious eaters and pass through five instars (stages) before pupating. My citrus plant was pretty much ravaged by them. Here I am presenting only two stages.
After the last stage, the caterpillar stays immobile and secretes a liquid to form the pupal case that hangs from the stem of the plant with a silky thread or girdle. The butterfly emerges after nine days from the pupa.