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

Papilio benguetana Joicey & Talbot, 1923

(zoological nomenclature: valid name, available)

General information:

Papilio benguetana Joicey & Talbot, 1923: 273.
Type locality: Philippines, Northern Luzon, Benguet District, on the peak of Santo Tomas.
Type: Holotype ex coll. Lathy, coll. Hill Museum, now. BMNH, London

Synonyms, misspellings, wrong determinations, etc.:
Papilio benguelana auctorum. Misspelling.


: Philippines, Luzon, Mount St. Thomas, 2008.03.15, coll. Michael Kurz underside: Philippines, Luzon, Mount St. Thomas, 2008.03.15, coll. Michael Kurz    
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view

Description of adults: Examined: 1 . Wing expanse: 84 mm. Head black with distant black, whitish yellow spotted tufts of hair-like scales; antennae about 2/5 of forewing length, black, few distal segments orange upperside; thorax upperside distantly scaled with hair-like scales, black with two indistinct light lateral stripes; forewings broad, costal margin much bowed, outer margin slightly convex; hindwings broad, outer margin undulating with a moderately long, narrow tail on vein M3; upperside of wings whitish yellow with extended black markings: In forewing, costal and inner margin narrow, outer margin broader coloured black; black postdiscal band with few scattered whitish-yellow scales and separated from the black margin by small submarginal, whitish-yellow lunulae between veins; cell in its proximal half with three irregular narrow longitudinal stripes, in its distal part with two broad black crosswise spots, the distal one at discus, only indistinctly separated from the black postdiscal colouration in the anterior third of the wing; the latter black colouration leaving free only three whitish-yellow longitudinal spots; veins in posterior area of wing broadly blackish; hindwing in basal half whitish-yellow with broadly black scaled veins, in distal half black with broad, light greyish-blue postdiscal lunulae and narrow submarginal lunulae of whitish-yellow, medially orange mixed colouration; at anal angle a small orange, black centered spot; forewing underside similar to upperside, but black markings much less extended; in hindwing, outer black band-like colouration also narrower, to a large extent covered by much broader postdiscal and submarginal lunulae, which are more light orange in colouration; outermost wing margin narrow whitish-yellow; underside of thorax and legs with black, hair-like scales with longitudinal tufts of indistinct whitish-yellow colour; abdomen black dorsally, laterally whitish-yellow, ventrally with a narrow black longitudinal band.


The species is endemic to Northern Luzon, Philippines, between Bontoc and Baguio in the Cordillera Central (Collins & Morris 1985). We do not have any data about vertical distribution.


The animals fly, often in numbers, along pathways and hill-toppings between 7 a.m. and 11 a.m., males also exhibiting territorial fights (Tsukada & Nishiyama 1982). Syntopic occurence has been observed with Parantica phyle (Felder & Felder, 1863), Hestina spp., Appias phoebe and Celastrina spp. (Tsukada & Nishiyama 1982), P. benguetana being part of a mimikry ring based on P. phyle together with Hestina ssp. (Collins & Morris 1985).

Stages in development:

The early stages, as well as the foodplant, are unknown (Collins & Morris 1985).


P. benguetana : Philippines, Luzon, Mount St. Thomas, 2008.03.15, coll. Michael Kurz P. xuthus : China, Hunan, 2008.07, coll. Michael Kurz P. phyle, plate XLII, fig. 8  
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Felder, Felder & Rogenhofer 1864
Detailed view

P. benguetana is quite similar to Papilio xuthus Linné, 1767, and by some authors, it has been considered to be a subspecies of P. xuthus only. It can readily be distinguished however by the broader, more rounded wings and the narrower tails on the hindwings. From the similar, syntopic Parantica phyle (Felder & Felder, 1863), which is mimiked by P. benguetana, the latter is easily separable by the presence of tails on the hindwings.

Worth knowing:

Due to its restricted distribution and heavy population pressure from humans, the species is classified as "lower Risk/near threatened, ver 2.3" (IUCN 2012).


Collins, N. M. & M. G. Morris 1985. Threatened Swallowtail Butterflies of the World. The IUCN Red Data Book. 401 pp., 8 pl. - available at: http://www.archive.org/details/threatenedswallo85coll.
Felder, C., R. Felder & A. Rogenhofer 1864. Reise der Österreichischen Fregatte Novara um die Erde in den Jahren 1857, 1858, 1859 unter den Befehlen des Commodore B. von Wüllerstorf-Urbair. Zoologischer Theil. 2. Band. Zweite Abteilung: Lepidoptera. Atlas, pl. 1-140. Verlag Kaiserlich-Königliche Hof- und Staatsdruckerei. In Commission bei Carl Gerolds´s Sohn, Wien.
IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. . Downloaded on 24 February 2012.
Joicey, J. & G. Talbot 1923. A new Papilio from the Philippine islands. The Entomologist 56: 273.
Tsukada, E. & Y. Nishiyama 1982. Butterflies of the South East Asian Islands. Vol. 1 Papilionidae. (transl. K. Morishita). Plapac Co. Ltd., Tokyo. 457 pp.

Publication data:

Kurz Michael: 2012.02.22
Kurz Michael: 2012.02.23
Kurz Michael: 2012.02.24
Kurz Michael: 2012.02.27
Kurz Michael: 2012.06.28
Document reviewed by:
not reviewed: 2012.06.28
Document released by:
Kurz Michael: 2012.06.28