N A T U R K U N D L I C H E S   I N F O R M A T I O N S S Y S T E M

Troides minos (Cramer, 1779)

(zoological nomenclature: valid name, available)

General information:

Papilio minos Cramer, 1779: III: 4, pl. 195, fig. A.
Type locality: Indes Orientales, Cote Occidentale de Sumatra (Indonesia, Sumatra, western coast)


, upperside , upperside : Original picture  
Picture from: Moore 1901
Detailed view
Picture from: Moore 1901
Detailed view
Picture from: Cramer 1779
Detailed view

Description of adults: (Bingham 1907): Wingspan 140 - 180 mm. "Male. Upperside. Forewing rich black, the outer veins from the lower median upward more or less slightly bordered with grey-scaled streaks, these scales at the base of the lower median being mostly yellow; the end and lower edge within the cell also slightly streaked with grey scales. Hindwing dark or pale golden-yellow; with a black band extending across extreme base of the cell, along the anterior margin and curving from below the costal vein to one-third of the subcostal, from whence it is conically continued along the outer margin to near the lower median, and thence broadly up the abdominal margin; the two lower or subanal conical portions of the outer marginal band are generally inwardly-edged more or less with blackish scales, these scales being more apparent in the pale yellow discal specimens; veins across the disc black lined. Cilia of both wings slightly alternated with white. Underside. Forewing duller black: the veins and the cell bordered with well-defined grey streaks. hindwing as on the upperside, except that the anal and two subanal cones of the marginal band have each two longitudinal short greenish-yellowish scaled streaks, and a similar scaled line bordering the median to its base below the cell, some grey scales also are scattered near the middle of the submedian vein, and in some specimens there is a black small spot above the anal cone, and in others there is a coalesced larger spot above the anal cone and also a small spot in the next median interspace. Head and thorax, antennas and legs black; collar and sides of thorax beneath crimson; abdomen above ochreous-yellow, beneath bright yellow with two lateral rows of black spots.
Female. Upperside. Forewing rich brownish-black; the outer veins and cell prominently bordered with sullied grey streaks. Hindwing with dark golden-yellow discal area; veins broadly black lined; the black base, costal border, outer marginal band and abdominal border broader than in male; the disc bearing a series of large black conical spots; middle of abdominal border generally speckled with grey scales, and the anal cones edged with similar scales. Cilia of both wings alternated with ochreous-white, that of the hindwings also inwardly edged with the same colour and thus forming a distinct lunule between the veins. Underside. Forewing dull black; cell and vein streaks more sharply defined and of either an ochreous-grey or bluish-grey tint. Hindwing with the discal area somewhat paler golden-yellow, the black borders and discal conical spots as on upperside; the anal and subanal cones, or the entire marginal series longitudinally bordered with pale ochreous-white, and in some specimens the discal series of cones are also more or less slenderly edged with the same colour. Head, thorax, antennae and legs black; collar and sides of thorax beneath crimson; abdomen above brownish-ochreous, with a tuft of short black hairs on subanal segment; anal claspers whitish; abdomen beneath yellow, with two lateral rows of black segmental spots." (Moore 1901).


The species is found in southern India: Bombay to Travancore (Bingham 1907) and extends to Indonesia.


"This butterfly is very common in the N. Kanara District of Bombay, during the latter half of the Monsoon. By the end of the year it has become scarce, at least on the coast, and many are not seen after that until the beginning of June, when the first rain brings them out in some numbers. It flies slowly, but often to a good height, and hovering much over flowers. They rest with the wings expanded." (Moore 1901, citing J. Davidson and E. H. Aitken, l.c. 1890, 361; 1896, 576-7).

Stages in development:

Larva Pupa, laterally Pupa, dorsally  
Picture from: Moore 1901
Detailed view
Picture from: Moore 1901
Detailed view
Picture from: Moore 1901
Detailed view

Description of larva and pupa following Bingham (1907):

Egg. "The egg, which we have often found, is of a reddish colour, and under a strong lens looks very like a rough red orange; it is hatched on the eighth day." (Moore 1901, citing J. Davidson and E. H. Aitken, l.c. 1890, 361; 1896, 576-7).

"Larva. Roughly cylindrical, tapers a little to each end, with two rows of fleshy processes somewhat curved forwards and a double row on each side that are much shorter. On the 2nd, 3rd and 4th segments an additional long pair between the dorsal and lateral rows. Head smooth and black; body of a uniform dark madderbrown, prettily lighted with a tinge of pink at the points of some of the fleshy processes; dorsal process on the 8th segment and a lateral pair on the 7th pinkish-white, with a band of the same colour uniting them.

Pupa. Suspended by the tail and a band that encircles it much nearer the head than is usual with Papilio pupae. In form stout, flattened, dilated in the middle, with head and thorax thrown back. Head somewhat angular and tuberculated; two of the abdominal segments each with a prominent dorsal pair of pointed tubercles. Colour usually light brown, with a strongly contrasting saddle of old gold. (After Davidson & Aitken.) - Mr. T. A. Sealy (Proc. Ent. Soc. 1875, p. ix) states: - "The pupa possesses the power of making a curious noise like ´pha-pha´!, and makes it very loudly when touched; the noise is accompanied (perhaps produced) by a short contraction of the abdominal segments. I thought at first it was merely produced by the rubbing of one ring of the pupa-case against the next, but the sound did not resemble a mere frictional sound, it was more like the sound of a rush of air through small holes - ´pha-pha´. I tried to produce it with a dead chrysalis but failed; the pupa sometimes contracted on being touched without making the noise, and appeared unable to make the noise until some time was griven to allow it to recover its vigour." Messrs. Davidson and Aitken have also noticed this power in the pupa, but they speak of it "as a husky squeaking noise, produced apparently by friction of the abdominal rings."


"Differs from P. cerberus as follows : . Hindwing: the black along the dorsal and terminal margins both on upper and undersides much broader; on the upperside entirely filling interspace 1, on the underside with only a narrow streak of yellow at the angle between the median vein and vein 2; the cone-shaped black markings on the terminal margin shorter and broader; on the costal margin the black is narrower than in cerberus, barely extended below vein 8 except at the base and apex of the wing where it broadens; the abdomen is dull yellow above and below not shaded with black. . Hind wing; the black on the costal margin as in cerberus, but there is always a large yellow spot at base of interspace 7; interspace 1 black, with a pale patch in the middle; the black terminal border broader, the inwardly extended cone-shaped markings prominent, those in interspaces 2 and 3 with pale buff lateral edgings, extended inwards to the postdiscal spots. In both and the hind wing on the upperside is clothed with soft, silky, long brownish-black hairs from base along the dorsal area." (Bingham 1907).

Worth knowing:


Bingham, C. T. 1907. Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Butterflies - Vol. II. Taylor & Francis, London, 480 pp., 20 pl.
Cramer, P. & C. Stoll ([1775]-1782). De uitlandsche kapellen, voorkomende in de drie waereld-deelen Asia, Africa en America (= Papillons exotiques des trois parties du monde, l´Asie, l´Afrique et l´Amerique). S. J. Baalde & Barthelemy Wild: Amsterdam and Utrecht. 4 vol.
Moore, F. 1901-1903. Lepidoptera Indica. vol. V. L. Reeve & co., London.

Publication data:

Kurz Michael: 2013.11.19
Kurz Michael: 2013.11.21
Kurz Michael: 2013.11.25
not reviewed