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Male Blue Mormon nectaring on Kalanchoe
Female Blue Mormon nectaring on Kalanchoe
Wingspan of 115-145 mm. The second largest swallowtail butterfly in the island. The upperside of the male is black and bright silvery blue. The rows of black oval markings on the hind wing are distinguishable even in flight. In the female, much of the blue on the upper surface is replaced by shades of gray and salmon. The male is smaller than the female.
Status, distribution and habitat
A widely distributed species, and though common, never plentiful. It occurs from sea level to the highest hills. It prefers wooded areas with open corridors. The widespread cultivation of many citrus species in home gardens has made it a delightful sight around human habitations.
A patrolling species that moves about a great deal in search of food and nectar. Its wing beats are somewhat slow but powerful. It stays within ten to fifteen feet above ground, seldom flying high up in the canopy. When it flies in the open, it has a fast undulating flight, and it sways unpredictably from side to side, making it difficult to capture. When threatened, its flight becomes swift and erratic allowing it to get away quickly. It is seldom seen far from cover and often darts in and out of clumps of vegetation in its search for mates or nectar. In home gardens, it visits flowers such as Hibiscus, Duranta and other introduced ornamentals. Like other swallowtails, it keeps its wings in continuous motion while nectaring, its legs barely holding on to the petals. In hot dry weather, the males settle on wet soil to mud-sip.
Very similar to the Lime Butterfly. The larvae feed on members of the Rutaceae, commonly on species of citrus.
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