Butterfly populations are a very good indicator of the health of an area's ecosystem !!
Also known as a Flying Handerchief
The male mocker swallowtail is monomorphic, meaning it has only one distinct look, while the female is polymorphic and can assume up to 14 different looks. The butterflies that the female mimics do not have tails, and are unpalatable or poisonous to birds.
This mimicry is not just a simple change of colour and pattern, but the females also lose their characteristic swallow tails and even fly slowly like Monarch butterflies.
This unique combination of shape-shifting makes the mimicry more convincing for predatory birds and once they learn to avoid one warning pattern, they will then avoid similar looking butterflies.
* The male of this species has a tail, while the female is tailess !!
Avg. Wingspan: 10 - 12 cm / 3.9 - 4.7 "
Diet: caterpillars feed on calodendron, clausena, citrus, fagara, and plants in the Rutaceae family.
Diet: adults eat nectar from a variety of plants including clover, milkweed, thistles, and phlox.
Kingdom: Animalia, Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta, Order: Lepidoptera