Papilionidae

The striking Papilionidae are often called Swallowtails after the long projections found on the hindwing of many species. There are approximately 550 species, found mostly in the tropics.

A zebra swallowtail butterfly

A Zebra Swallowtail showing the unique 'tails' on its hindwings.

The Papilionidae are popular to study by scientists, collectors and amateurs alike due to their large body size and attractive wing patterns. 

As larvae, Papilionidae have a unique, forked organ behind the head, which emits powerful odours thought to deter certain predators.

The largest butterfly in the world, Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing (Ornithoptera alexandrae), also belongs to this group.