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

Teinopalpus imperialis Hope, 1843

(zoological nomenclature: valid name, available)

General information:

Teinopalpus imperialis Hope, 1843: 131
Type locality: Eastern India, Silhet (now Bangladesh, Sylhet)
Type: Holotype : India, Silhet, in coll. Parry (now BMNH, London ?)

Synonyms, misspellings, wrong determinations, etc.:
Teinopalpus parryae Hope, 1843: 131-132. Type locality: India, Silhet. Junior subjective synonym of Teinopalpus imperialis imperialis Hope, 1843 (principle of the first reviser, ICZN, art. 24.2).
Teinopalpus himalaicus Rothschild, 1898: 602. Type locality: India, Sikkim. Junior subjective synonym of Teinopalpus imperialis imperialis Hope, 1843.
Teinopalpus imperatrix de Niceville, 1899: 335. Type locality: Myanmar, Toungoo Hills. Subspecies.
Papilio behludinii Pen, 1937: 157. Type locality: China, Sichuan. Junior subjective synonym of Teinopalpus imperialis imperatrix de Niceville, 1889.
Teinopalpus imperialis bhumipoli Nakano & Sukkit, 1985: Type locality: Thailand, Chiang Mai. Junior subjective synonym of Teinopalpus imperialis imperatrix de Niceville, 1889.
Teinopalpus imperialis gillesi Turlin, 1991: 4. Type locality: 20 km SW of Xam Neua, Laos. Junior subjective synonym of Teinopalpus imperialis imperatrix de Niceville, 1889.
Teinopalpus imperialis gerritesi Nakano, 1995: 6. Type locality: north-eastern Thailand, Nan. Junior subjective synonym of Teinopalpus imperialis imperatrix de Niceville, 1889.
Teinopalpus imperialis miecoae Morita, 1997: 11-14. Type locality: Myanmar, Northern Kachin State. Junior subjective synonym of Teinopalpus imperialis imperatrix de Niceville, 1889.
Teinopalpus imperialis hakkaorum Schäffler, 2004: 8. Type locality: China, Guangdong, Lianhua Shan. Junior subjective synonym of Teinopalpus imperialis imperatrix de Niceville, 1889.
Teinopalpus imperialis colettei Collard & Dion, 2007: 42-46. Type locality: Laos, Province de Phongsaly, District de Gnoi-Ou, Mt. Nam Kha. Junior subjective synonym of Teinopalpus imperialis imperatrix de Niceville, 1889.
Teinopalpus imperialis f. kabruana Turlin, 1991. Unavailable infrasubspecific form.
Teinopalpus imperialis f. leucopterus Nose, 1998. Unavailable infrasubspecific form.
Teinopalpus imperialis hakkaorum f. nigrescens Schäffler, 2004. Unavailable infrasubspecific form.

Kaiser-i-Hind
Kaiser común

Habit:

T. imperialis imperialis: Plate XI from original description T. imperialis imperatrix: Plate BB from original description upperside: without data underside: without data
Picture from: Hope 1843
Detailed view
Picture from: de Niceville 1899
Detailed view
Picture from: www.teinopalpus.com, scan of unknown origin, modified
Detailed view
Picture from: www.teinopalpus.com, scan of unknown origin, modified
Detailed view
   
upperside: without data underside: without data    
Picture from: www.teinopalpus.com, scan of unknown origin, modified
Detailed view
Picture from: www.teinopalpus.com, scan of unknown origin, modified
Detailed view
   

Description of adults: (Bingham 1907): Wing expanse: : 78 - 110 mm, : 86 - 150 mm. ". Upperside black, densely irrorated with green scales. Forewing: an outwardly oblique, slightly concave subbasal band and a narrow terminal edging jet-black due to the ground-colour there being devoid of the green scaling; beyond the subbasal band the irroration of scales is a much brighter green, especially along the outer edge of the subbasal band itself; but along obscure, broad, convergent discal and postdiscal transverse bands and along a subterminal much narrower band, the green scaling thins out and the black ground-colour of the wing shows through; in some specimens, owing to the transparency of the wings, the rich ochraceous-brown colour of the underside gives the black on these bands a reddish tint. Hind wing: basal area margined outwardly by a narrow irregularly sinuous band devoid of green scaling, succeeded by an upper discal bright chrome-yellow patch that spreads from base of interspace 3 across the apex of the cell and bases of interspaces 4 and 5 to the costa; this patch is bluntly angulated outwards in interspace 5, stained with orange anteriorly and bordered outwardly by black which is widest above; below the patch a white line extends to the dorsum ; the postdiscal area is deep dark green, margined inwardly by diffuse dark grey and followed outwardly by a subterminal series of lunular markings, the tornal and upper two or three of which are yellow, the rest bright green; tail tipped with yellow. Underside: basal area of both fore and hind wing densely covered with green scales. Fore wing: terminal two-thirds rich ochraceous brown, the green of the basal area bordered by black; discal and postdiscal bands also black, widened and diffusely coalescent posteriorly; an incomplete, very slender subterminal black line and broader black terminal edging, neither of which reaches to the apex. Hind wing much as on the upperside, but the yellow markings broader. Antennae dark red; head, thorax and abdomen black, covered somewhat densely with green hairs and scales. - much larger, differs also in coloration and markings as follows: Upperside, forewing: the irroration of green scales on the terminal two-thirds restricted to a subterminal moderately broad band diffuse along its inner edge, and a medial somewhat ill-defined similar band that is bordered both on the inner and outer sides by diffuse dusky black; this is succeeded by two broad diffuse transverse dark grey bands, the outer of the two edged on its outer side narrowly with black, followed by a subterminal green band and terminal velvety-black margin. Hind wing: the upper discal yellow patch so conspicuous in the , replaced by a very much larger dark grey patch, below which comparatively narrow markings of yellow extend up to the dorsum; a postdiscal sinuous lunular narrow black band and a subterminal series of green lunules as in the , but the apical lunule dark grey, not yellow; the tail-like extensions of the termen at the apices of veins 3 to 6 are black shaded with green, those at the apices of veins 4 and 6 tipped, the former with yellow the latter with greenishwhite. Underside similar to the underside in the , but on both fore and hind wing the areas coloured with rich ochraceous and yellow are grey, with the exception of a well-marked moderately broad subterminal band on the fore wing which is of a dull ochraceous colour; on the hind wing the grey discal area extends right up to the apical lunule of the subterminal series. Antennae, head, thorax and abdomen as in the ." Subspecies imperatrix: ". Differs from T. imperialis, Hope ..... in the following particulars: Upperside: fore wing darker green, the black ground-colour showing through the green scales more prominently. Hind wing with the rich chrome-yellow discal fascia with its inner edge not encroaching on the discoidal cell instead of reaching well into it, that portion of the fascia in the second subcostal interspace considerably longer; all the tooth-like projections on the outer margin much longer, especially those at the terminations of the 2nd subcostal and 1st median nervules. Underside: fore wing with the five black fasciae crossing the wing much broader, especially the middle one. Hind wing with the discal yellow fascia broader. - . Considerably larger than that sex of T. imperialis. Upperside: both wings much darker, all the black coloration more prominent. Hind wing has the pale violet black-irrorated discal area of T. imperialis almost entirely replaced by a black suffused area, the black line closing the cell entirely obliterated; the chrome-yellow subanal area at least twice as broad, the outer discal lunulated black fascia consequently placed much nearer to the outer margin; all the tails very much longer. Underside: both wings with much the same differences as on the upperside." (Bingham 1907).

Variability: The species varies considerable in wingspan, ssp. imperatrix being much larger than the typical subspecies. Furthermore, in ssp. imperatrix, the yellow spot on the hindwing is usually bigger, especially in females.

Distribution:

The species is widely distributed from north-eastern India (e.g. Manypur, Assam, Sikkim), Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan (?) to Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam and Thailand in the south and southern China in the north-east (anonymous 2004, Kurz & Kurz 2011). Whereas the Himalayan populations belong to the typical subspecies Teinopalpus imperialis imperialis Hope, 1843, those from Thailand to China are attributed to ssp. Teinopalpus imperialis imperatrix de Niceville, 1899. The distribution pattern as a whole, nevertheless, is very scattered in the mountain areas, with a vertical range from 1800 - 3500 m, eventually also 4000 m a.s.l. (Cotton & Racheli 2006, Kurz & Kurz 2011). Yen & Yang (2001) record its occurence as low as 100 m a.s.l. too.

Biology:

Biotope of T. imperialis: Laos, Province d´Houa Phan, 1850 m, 2010.08 A male sitting on Magnolia sp.: Laos, Région de Xam Neua, Prov. d´Houa Phan, 1900 m, 2010.08 : Laos, Région de Xam Neua, Prov. d´Houa Phan, 1900 m, 2010.08 , sitting on a blossoming Magnolia (the probable foodplant of the larva): Laos, Région de Xam Neua, Prov. d´Houa Phan, 2010.08
Picture from: www.picasaweb.google.com: Collard Steeve (creative commons)
Detailed view
Picture from: www.picasaweb.google.com: Collard Steeve (creative commons)
Detailed view
Picture from: www.picasaweb.google.com: Collard Steve (creative commons)
Detailed view
Picture from: www.picasaweb.google.com: Collard Steeve (creative commons)
Detailed view

The imagines are strong flyers. They live very locally only in intact high elevation rain forests, where they fly in rapid flight in the canopee of the evergreen forest (Fagaceae-Magnoliaceae-Ericaceae forests: see Yen & Yang 2001, anonymous 2004). On occasion, they come down to the ground at outskirts and clearings of the woods. Freshly emerged males may be found around mud in the morning between 8 and 12 a.m. (Cotton & Racheli 2006). Males show territorial behaviour around canopee layer (Yen & Yang 2001). The butterflies are on the wing in two generations per year, from late March till early June and from late August till October (Kurz & Kurz 2011).

Stages in development:

Egg: The egg is spherical, somewhat flattened and reddish. It is laid on the medial vein of the hostplant (Igarashi 1987).

Larva: The first instars have a bird-droppings like mimic pattern. The adult larva is said to be green, with a large head. Igarashi (1987) reports the species feeding on Magnolia campbelii. Records for Daphne sp. (anonymous 2004) are probably erroneous.

Pupa: The pupa has very prominent cone-like processes on the thorax (Igarashi 1987).

Diagnosis:

T. imperialis upperside: without data T. imperialis underside: without data T. imperialis upperside: without data T. imperialis underside: without data
Picture from: www.teinopalpus.com, scan of unknown origin, modified
Detailed view
Picture from: www.teinopalpus.com, scan of unknown origin, modified
Detailed view
Picture from: www.teinopalpus.com, scan of unknown origin, modified
Detailed view
Picture from: www.teinopalpus.com, scan of unknown origin, modified
Detailed view
T. aureus upperside: without data T. aureus underside: without data T. aureus upperside: without data T. aureus underside: without data
Picture from: www.teinopalpus.com, scan of unknown origin, modified
Detailed view
Picture from: www.teinopalpus.com, scan of unknown origin, modified
Detailed view
Picture from: www.teinopalpus.com, scan of unknown origin, modified
Detailed view
Picture from: www.teinopalpus.com, scan of unknown origin, modified
Detailed view

The species is quite similar to Teinopalpus aureus Mell, 1923, especially in the females. Whereas the of T. imperialis has two distinct grey transverse stripes on the forewing upperside, the of T. aureus has the distal 2/3 of the forewing grey with diffuse irregular green stripes. On the hindwing upperside, T. aureus possesses a bright yellow submarginal spot between veins M2 and M3, which is green in T. imperialis. The males can easily be distinguished by the yellow spot on the hindwing upperside, which is much bigger in T. aureus than in T. imperialis and by the forewing underside, which is grey to blackish in T. aureus, but ochreous to orange to a great extent in T. imperialis (see also CITES identification guide - butterflies, Froreich 1954).

Worth knowing:

The species is heavily endangered by destruction and fragmentation of its biotopes by forest cutting. Local populations furthermore, are threatened also by commercial and illegal collecting.

Sources:

anonymous 2004. Kaiser-i-Hind (Teinopalpus imperialis imperatrix). Prepared by the Xerces Society (May 12, 2004). URL: http://www.xerces.org/kaiser-i-hind-swallowtail/ [online 20 May 2011].
CITES identification guide – butterflies: guide to the identification of butterfly species controlled under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. - Issued by Wildlife Division, Enforcement Branch, Environment Canada. Text in English, French and Spanish. 221 p.
Cotton, A. M. & T. Racheli 2006. A preliminary annotated checklist of the Papilionidae of Laos with notes on taxonomy, phenology, distribution and variation. Fragmenta entomologica, Roma, 38 (2): 279-378.
Froreich, von 1954. Über das bisher unbekannte Weibchen von Teinopalpus aureus Mell.. Zeitschrift der Wiener Entomologischen Gesellschaft 39 (65) (9): 305-310, 1 pl.
Häuser, C., J. Holstein & A. Steiner 2006. Teinopalpus imperialis. In: Bisby F.A., Roskov Y.R., Orrell T.M., Nicolson D., Paglinawan L.E., Bailly N., Kirk P.M., Bourgoin T., van Hertum J., eds. (2008). Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2011 Annual Checklist. Digital resource at www.catalogueoflife.org/annual-checklist/2011/. Species 2000: Reading, U.K. [online 20 May 2011].
Hope F. W. 1843. On some rare and beautiful insects from Silhet, chiefly in the collection of Frederick John Parry Esq. F. L. S.. Transactions of the Linnean Society of London. London XIX (2): 131-136, pl XI, XII.
Igarashi, S. 1987. On the life history of the Teinopalpus imperialis in northern India and its phylogenetic position in the Papilionidae. Transactions of the Lepidoptera Society of Japan, 38: 115-151.
Kurz, M. A. & M. E. Kurz 2000–2011. Naturkundliches Informationssystem. – URL: http://www.nkis.info [online 20 Mai 2011].
Savela, M. 2011. Lepidoptera and some other life forms. Teinopalpus Hope, 1843. URL: http://ftp.funet.fi/index/Tree_of_life/insecta/lepidoptera/ditrysia/papilionoidea/papilionidae/papilioninae/teinopalpus/index.html [online 20 May 2011].
Yen, S.-H. & P.-S. Yang 2001. Illustrated idendification guide to insects protected by the CITES and wildlife conservation law of Taiwan, R.O.C. - available at: http://subject.forest.gov.tw/books/book_03e/insect_30.htm [online 23 May 2011].

Publication data:

history:
Kurz Michael: 2011.05.20
Kurz Michael: 2011.05.23
Kurz Michael: 2011.05.30
Kurz Michael: 2011.05.31
Document reviewed by:
not reviewed: 2011.05.31
Document released by:
Kurz Michael: 2011.05.31

Advertisement: