Largest Swallowtail in South Africa. The Emperor swallowtail can reach up to 12 cm across and is the largest Swallowtail in South Africa. The butterfly nectars on flowers in the characteristic Papilio manner with forewings beating and the hindwings virtually still. The hindwings of this species are particularly large. The Latin name 'ophidicephalus' means "snake-head' refering to the mimic eyes on the hindwing. It is found in rain forest all over East Africa down to South Africa. The author has seen this species high up in the Drakensberg mountains in South Africa. It was feeding on Streptocarpus flowers, the only flower out in the shady summit woodland.

Name: Emperor Swallowtail

Latin: Papilio ophidicephalus

Family: Papilionidae

Origin: South & East Africa

Food plant: Citrus Family

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