Photo Arne Ader
Swallowtail Pääsusaba Papilio machaon
The flight period of the first generation of swallowtails lasts from the second half of May until the end of June. In cold and unfavourable years like the present, a second generation of swallows may not occur at all.
The swallowtail is held to be one of our most beautiful butterflies – large and eye-catching and easily recognizeable too. The largest wing span among pour butterflies: 7 centimetres, for larger specimen up to 9 centimetres; on the hind wings the tail specific for the swallowtails. The undersides of the wings are only a little paler, otherwise with the same pattern as the top sides.
We can meet the swallowtail in open landscapes where it flies very rapidly and can rise to great heights. Occasions when these master fliers stray into cities are not rare.
When feeding the swallowtail placidly goes on sucking flower nectar and allows itself to be observed and photographed.