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 (Achillides) arcturus Westwood, 1842

(zoological nomenclature: valid name, available)

General information:

Papilio arcturus Westwood, 1842: 37.


: Thailand, Chiangmai, Fang, coll. Michael Kurz underside: Thailand, Chiangmai, Fang, coll. Michael Kurz    
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view

Description of adults: . Upperside brownish black, somewhat paler on the fore than on the hind wing. Fore wing irrorated with brilliant golden-green scales that on the posterior half of the wing form a broad, not well-defined subterminal band; the veins and elongate streaks between them on the outer half of the wing velvety black. Hind wing: posterior three-fourths irrorated with brilliant golden-green scales as on the fore wing but towards the base anteriorly these turn to blue; a conspicuous brilliant blue patch somewhat irregular in shape occupies the apex of the cell and the bases of interspaces 5 and 6, prolonged as a broad streak in the latter interspace up to the terminal margin; below this a more or less triangular patch on the disc and above it the whole of the costal margin broadly are devoid of the irroration of green scales; a subterminal generally incomplete series of large claret-red lunules terminates at the tornal angle in a large conspicuous black-centred red ocellus; the latter is encircled above and anteriorly by a narrow band formed by a conflux of the green irrorated scales; the lunules are bordered outwardly by spots of the ground-colour that are devoid of the green scales; finally both the lunules and the tornal ocellus are tinged more or less with bluish-purple on their inner margins. Underside dull black, with a somewhat sparse irroration of yellowish-white scales confined on the fore wing to the base and apex, and on the hind wing to the posterior two-thirds, not extended to the termen except along the tail. Fore wing: a broad ill-defined subterminal pale transverse area, crossed by the black veins and internervular streaks, and elongated pale cellular streaks. Hind wing: a large somewhat quadrate terminal black-centred claret-red patch in interspaces 1 and 2, and a subterminal series of broad claret-red lunules that extends from interspaces 3 to 7, followed by ill-defined anteciliary red spots in each interspace. Cilia of both fore and hind wings white, alternated with black. Antennae, head, thorax and abdomen brownish black; the head, thorax and abdomen at base on the upperside sprinkled with golden-green scales. similar, the markings more prominent. Upperside: on the fore wing the subterminal golden-green band broader, on the hind wing the subterminal series of claret-red lunules more complete." (Bingham 1907).


The species is found in the Himalayas (Bhutan, India, Nepal, Myanmar), but also in China, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam (Häuser et al. 2005). Bingham (1907) records a vertical distribution up to apr. 4000 ft (apr. 1300 m a.s.l.).

Worth knowing:


Bingham, C. T. 1907. Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Butterflies - Vol. II. Taylor & Francis, London, 480 pp., 20 pl.
Häuser, C. L., J. Holstein & A. Steiner 2005. The Global Butterfly Information System. http://www.globis.insects-online.de. Last updated 14.04.2011 [online 18 March 2014].

Publication data:

Kurz Michael: 2014.02.08
Kurz Michael: 2014.03.18
not reviewed