Papilio polytes romulus

Cramer 1775 - The Common Mormon

Koh Samui and Koh Pha Ngan.

The female of this species has two forms. Form (f.) polytes is a mimic of Pachliopta aristolochiae but lacks the red body of its model. The much rarer other form, f. cyrus is like the male.

This is a very common species, and can be found everywhere, but is least common in forests.

The courtship 'dance' of this species is particularly beautiful. The male appears to mob the female, until she eventually settles on a plant, where she stays, fluttering her wings. The Male flies continuously around her, occasionally butting her. This lasts for about a minute. The female then takes off and very, very slowly flies upwards and ,it appears, backwards, the male following, facing her at all times. The pair eventually reach a great height before returning to land when mating commences. The whole ballet can take up to 20 minutes.

Flight Period



70 - 85mm

Early Stages

Papilio polytes romulus - Male

Fully known. 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


Sri Lanka, India through to China, The Malay Peninsular through the Archipelago to the Moluccas and the Lesser Sunda Islands.