Saturday 4 March 2023


Papilio anactus, the dainty swallowtail, or small citrus butterfly is a medium-sized butterfly from the family Papilionidae, that is endemic to Australia. For protection against predators, this non-poisonous butterfly mimics the poisonous male Cressida cressida, another swallowtail butterfly that obtains its toxic properties through its host plant, the Dutchman's pipe.

Papilio anactus is endemic to Australia. It was originally only present in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland, but due to the growing of citrus, a larval food plant of this species, in orchards, the species spread to South Australia in the late 1920s. Papilio anactus is not present on Kangaroo Island or elsewhere in Australia, as there are currently too few citrus trees. It also occurs on New Caledonia. There, it may be an introduced species or a vagrant.

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme.


  1. You know so much about the plants and the nature.

  2. Interesting butterfly. You photographed it beautifully.


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