Papilio demoleus demoleus

Wallace 1865 - The Lime Butterfly

Koh Samui and Koh Pha Ngan.

A very common and widespread butterfly. Regularly seen in and around gardens, especially where they grow any of the Citrus family, such as Limes or Pomelo. It can not be mistaken for any other butterfly to be found on Koh Samui.

It is one of the smaller members of the Family, and has a rapid flight, rarely stopping its wings, even when feeding on common garden flowers, such as Ixora or Lantana.

This species's rapid expansion in the 20th century, to colonise such places as Borneo, Sumatra and the Philippines can be put down to the deforestation of those places and the spread of human habitation, with the subsequent planting of the hostplants.

Flight Period



60 - 80mm

Early Stages

Papilio demoleus demoleus - Male

Fully known. More detailed life history information is available from the following resource: ButterflyCircle Blog (courtesy of Dr. Horace Tan.)

Larval Foodplant

Citrus sp. and other Rutaceae.


Indian sub-continent, Indo-China, Malayan Peninsular, including all Thailand.(Other subspecies can be found as far west as North-East Arabia and as far east as New Guinea and Australia).