Mahaon butterfly: description and habitat


Butterflies, belonging to the family of Lepidoptera, attract attention. Machaon - a beautiful colorful creation of various species is considered to be a clear representative of those. We will study important aspects so that you can get your own idea of ​​these individuals.

  1. There are more than 35 species of Machaon, but they are so similar that it is possible to separate one from another only with the study of the wingspan. Indicators in the straightened state vary between 7.5–9.5 cm in females and 6.5–8 cm in males. An adult grows 9 cm in length.
  2. The wings are quite thin and very gentle, if improperly handled, they will break, which will lead to the death of the lepidoptera. They are wavy, rounded. These representatives of the species cannot sit still for long enough; they are distinguished by their activity. Fly from the first point to the second or third and so on.
  3. It has already been mentioned that the lepidopterans of this species are distinguished by their mobility and beauty. They are from a young age bright, patterned, different from all others. The same can be said about the caterpillar; in its stage it has multicolored stripes and circles scattered symmetrically on the body. The same colorful butterfly is obtained in the end.
  4. These individuals are counted among those who are awake during the daytime. They have a mustache similar to pins. The legs are 3 pairs, they are all developed. The rear wings do not fit snugly to the hull, since they contain recesses and growths (original tails). In part, this is the sign by which it is possible to identify the Machaon.
  5. If we consider the average color gamut of all the representatives of the family, we can say that the individuals are pigmented with a mainly yellowish tone. There is a black stripe on the case, but it may not be one. The wings are decorated with streaks of various colors or black dots. Rear wings clad in a chain with bluish divorces. The wings at the ends have a reddish tint. In summertime, butterflies are not as bright as in spring.


  • These representatives of the species are common in various parts of the world and Europe in particular. They are not found except in Ireland. They live in Asian countries, in the expanses of the United States and North America. Find individuals in African countries.
  • Interestingly, the area is equally extensively distributed in tropical areas and in mountainous areas. Some representatives live at an altitude of 4.5 km. above sea level, so it can be said that they are quite hardy.
  • Individuals love open territorial sites. They settle preferably in meadow or forest edges, in tundra, steppe areas, semi-deserts, etc. Northern species inhabit from the beginning to the end of summer, and the southern ones are seen from the beginning of spring until autumn. The life of an adult individual is 20 days.
  • Lifestyle

    1. Species of the species under discussion have many enemies. Fluttering creatures do not mind to eat spiders, ant families and birds. If you keep this creature at home, then there is no such enemy environment. Reproduction is carried out, starting from the middle, ending with the end of springtime.
    2. Climate is critical in breeding. The female makes laying under the foliage of the vegetation. She lives 20 days maximum, lays 3 eggs for several flights. Over the entire life cycle, more than 1000 eggs are produced, which is essential for such a short period.
    3. In two generations, the caterpillars are born. Spring individuals are considered the first, and summer - the second. It is important to remember that you should not catch butterflies without first looking at the Red Book. It includes a lot of insects, the catch of which is prohibited.
    4. Initially, the caterpillars are pigmented with black. In the upper part of the body there are whitish specks, as well as stripes of black tone and orange edging. With the passage of life, the caterpillar turns green, black bands remain on its body, and instead of a border there are spots of the same color.
    5. The first butterflies emerge from the pupae 15 days after pupation, and the second will take about 1.5 months for full development. The spring pupae are colored green-yellow, and the letnik is brown and dense.

    1. What feed the caterpillars, it is approximately clear, as for the butterflies in question, the diet is somewhat different. Such insects prefer exclusively nectar. If you are going to keep a butterfly at home, you will have to create such conditions.
    2. In the terrarium should be put sledka rotten pieces of apples. Leave the fruit for a while. Consider, this method does not apply to the most effective. Therefore, if it does not work, use the alternative.
    3. Take 200 ml. defended water. Dissolve in it 20 gr. fresh honey. Ready artificially created nectar should be poured into a small saucer. The butterfly should be carefully brought to the side of the dish. Carefully, with a needle, pry her proboscis and lower it into nectar.

    Natural enemies

    1. In most cases, the specimens in question are threatened by spiders, birds, and other insectivores. However, butterflies are most vulnerable when they are in transition. It begins with the egg, then in the form of a caterpillar, and finally, a pupa.
    2. Most individuals are not able to escape from the steppe fires. Because of this feature, the number of butterflies varies greatly by region. In addition, the insect population is seriously suffering and during the capture of collectors.
    3. Insects are listed in the Red Book in Germany, Ukraine, Latvia and Lithuania. The considered individuals are numerous, however, they do not cause any harm to agriculture. However, it was recently found that a serious struggle was waged with such insects.
    4. Because of the incomprehensible extermination of this species, butterflies can disappear altogether, if scientists do not figure out how to fix it. An interesting fact is that the caterpillars of such insects use a special organ located on the head. When the caterpillar is frightened, it starts to emit an extremely unpleasant smell.


  • A large number of caterpillars falls on the end of summer. If you are going to collect a few pieces, it is best to choose individuals whose length does not exceed 2 cm. Once you catch a caterpillar, plant it on fresh dill. After only 2-3 weeks, the individual eats enough. In this case, it will already be ready for pupation.
  • It remains interesting that as the caterpillar grows, it will change its color. Therefore, if you replace it, do not panic. This is a normal manifestation of molting. After 20 days, the individual will no longer eat and will look for a suitable branch for pupation.
  • As soon as the caterpillar finds the desired branch, it will attach to it in an upright position. It will take about 3 days. Molting and pupation often occur at night. Put the pupa with the branch in the refrigerator until early spring.
  • We studied the next representatives of Lepidoptera. However, one thing is for sure - the Machaons are one of the most beautiful of their kind. Due to human activity and the catch for their needs, the population has declined decently, so in some regions these butterflies are listed in the Red Book.

    Butterfly Swallowtail: Description

    Machaon has about 37 subspecies. Butterflies can be distinguished only by wingspan. In males, it is from 65 to 80 mm, in females - from 75 to 95 mm. The length of an adult individual reaches 9 centimeters. Butterfly wings are very fragile, rounded, wavy. Swallowtails are very energetic and tireless and rarely sit long in one place. Even if they eat, they often flap their wings, or almost immediately take off.

    The butterfly machaon, the photo of which can be seen in this article, is very beautiful. And not only adults. Due to its color, even caterpillars attract attention. They are very bright and colorful.

    The antennae of the butterfly (like all diurnal specimens) resemble pins. Insects have six well developed legs. The hind wings do not abut the abdomen, as they have a small recess and tails (elongated outgrowths) inside.

    In general, the swallowtail is light yellow with a black stripe running all over its body. On the front (main) wings of the butterfly are located the same color of the midrib and small specks. And on the back - chains of dark blue streaks. The wings are painted on the tips in bright red. The summer generation of butterflies is paler than the spring ones.


    The Machaon butterfly lives in all of Europe except Ireland. Also found in Asia, North America and Africa. This butterfly can be seen in the tropics, and in the mountains of Tibet it is found in an area whose height is below 4,500 meters.

    Makhaon loves open spaces, therefore, mostly dwells on forest edges, meadows, in the tundra, steppes, sometimes even in semi-desert. In the northern parts, the butterfly occurs from June to August, and in the southern - from mid-spring to October. An adult lives for about three weeks.

    How Machaon Breeds

    Butterfly mating season begins in May. But depending on the region of residence this time may vary - sometimes in July, August or September. Mating occurs in the air, during so-called mating flutters.

    After mating has occurred, the female lays one to three yellow eggs at a time. During the season she is able to reproduce up to 120 eggs. Caterpillars appear in a week. They are very beautiful, bright. Initially just black with white and red spots. Then turn green, additionally appears orange color and black stripes. They are very voracious and immediately after birth, they begin to eat leaves.

    To protect against enemies, the butterfly swallow has a pair of glands on its head, which are not visible if the caterpillar is at rest. But at danger, they turn into orange growths, spreading around an unpleasant scare smell.

    Later, like other butterflies, the Machaon caterpillars turn into pupae. Depending on the season may have different colors. In the summer - greenish-yellow, develop three weeks. In winter, they are brown in color. During this period, the pupae develop for several months, until the constant warm weather sets in when the formed butterfly can already fly, not being afraid of cold weather, and eat.

    Enemies of butterflies

    The main enemies of the Machaon are birds, spiders and other insectivores. But also butterflies are very vulnerable in the stages of transition to an adult: in the form of eggs, caterpillars and pupae. Many are dying because of the steppe fires.

    The number of these butterflies in different regions is different. This is strongly influenced by their capture for collections. In Ukraine, in Germany, Lithuania and Latvia, these butterflies are listed in the Red Book. The butterfly machaon does not belong to numerous species and does not cause harm to agriculture. But it became known much not so long ago, and earlier they waged a merciless struggle with it. If scientists fail to restore the population of these beautiful creatures, they can disappear from the face of the Earth.

    What does a butterfly named after the legendary doctor look like?

    The size of this insect is quite decent, among its relatives. The length of the body of the swallowtail is about 7 - 9 centimeters. The fragile wings of the Machaon butterfly are striking in their beauty and variety of colors: the background is usually bright yellow with black, white, red, and blue patterns on it. What only the lines and shapes here you will not see! Wavy, rounded forms - all this beauty in the most skillful way fit on two pairs of small wings of the Machaon.

    Butterflies, which appeared in spring, have a brighter color than the summer representatives of this species.

    Machaon's grown caterpillar

    What eats mahaon

    For the swallowtail, as for most butterflies, the only food is nectar of flowers. Butterflies of this species visit inflorescences of such plants as: parsley, fennel and other umbrella species.

    Papaver Swallowtail

    Machaon and man

    About 80 years ago, these butterflies were considered pests of cultivated plants, so they waged a ruthless fight with him. As a result, the number of swallowtails, especially in our country, has decreased dramatically.

    But scientists are watching the population of Machaons on the planet. One can only hope that they will take them under protection in time if they are threatened with extermination.

    Cabbage whitefish (cabbage): photos of butterflies and plant protection from pests

    The butterfly cabbage whitefish is a widespread dangerous pest of cruciferous and nasturtium cultures, with a wingspan of 55-60 mm.

    As seen in the photo, the cabbage bed has white wings, on the front pair there is a wide sickle-shaped border, and on the back there is a black speck. The eggs of the cabbage moth are lemon-colored, oblong and ribbed. Gray-green caterpillars reach 40 mm in length. On the sides of the caterpillar's body there are yellow stripes, the whole body is covered with thick hairs, therefore it looks velvety. The pupa of the cabbage blanket winters on the walls of buildings and tree trunks.

    A cabbage butterfly (cabbage) butterfly from a pupa hatches in the middle of April and lays eggs on the underside of leaves. The development of an egg lasts on average 10 days, after which a caterpillar emerges from it. It feeds on the pulp of the underside of the leaves. A few days later, when the caterpillar grows, it begins to devour the leaves from the edges, leaving thick veins. During the season, cabbage whitefish can give up to 5 generations.

    To protect the cabbage cultures from insects, the same methods should be used as in the fight against the cabbage scoop.

    Winter scoop: photo of caterpillars and butterflies with a description

    Winter scoop causes damage to many vegetable crops, including plants of the lily family. Caterpillars scoops gnaw through shoots and young plants near the surface of the soil, feed on leaves and root crops, making passages in them.

    Look above at a photo of a winter scoop: insects have a small size and an earthy hue.

    In early spring, the caterpillars of the winter scoop feed on sprouted seeds, and after a few days they leave for the soil to pupate.

    To protect plants from pests, the soil should be loosened regularly and thoroughly treated before planting. Plant debris and weeds (especially flowering) must be removed, because butterflies lay eggs on them. The affected plant should be treated with insecticides.

    It is also necessary to observe the alternation of vegetable crops in the garden plot and select only healthy plants for planting. The improvement of the seed should be carried out as follows: immerse the seeds in water whose temperature is 40-50 ° C for 10-15 minutes. Weakly infected garlic cloves should be healed by soaking them in water at 40 ° C for 2 hours. You can soak the onions and garlic in water at 16 ° C for 3 days.

    Cabbage moth: photos and pest control measures

    The cabbage mole is a butterfly whose wingspan reaches 15-17 mm. The front wings on the top have a brownish-gray color, and a lighter strip with three projections runs along their back edge. When folded wings on them formed a diamond-shaped pattern.

    As seen in the photo of the cabbage moth, the underside of its front wings has a silver-gray color.

    Butterfly pest eggs are light green, oval-shaped. Caterpillar in length can reach 11 mm. A butterfly from a pupa takes off in the first half of May. First, the caterpillars feed on cruciferous weeds, and when they are planted, cruciferous crops begin to feed on them. Only the hatched caterpillars penetrate the leaf tissue and eat it away. Often they climb into the middle of the head and eat the folded leaves and apical bud. At the same time heading may not be formed.

    During the season cabbage mole can give up to six generations.

    To combat the cabbage moth, the post-harvest remains of cruciferous weeds, on which pupae hibernate, should be destroyed. You can use the same techniques as in the fight with cabbage shovel.

    Onion and carrot moth

    Onion moth damages leeks, onions and garlic. Insect caterpillars penetrate into the onion tubular leaves and strip away the strip, leaving the epidermis intact. In this case, the damaged leaves turn yellow and dry, starting from the apical part. Caterpillars usually penetrate inside the bulb, causing the complete death of the plant. In leeks and garlic caterpillars eat out the pedicels, which leads to a deterioration in the quality of the seeds.

    Pay attention to the photo of the onion moth - it is a small dark brown butterfly with a wingspan of 8-10 mm. The front wings of the butterfly are covered with small specks, in the middle there is a white spot of a triangular shape. The back wings of a butterfly are gray with a long fringe. Insect eggs are milky white, shaped like beans. The body of the caterpillar reaches 10 mm in length, covered with brown warts.

    Butterflies winter in various shelters and on plant debris. Departure of insects begins in mid-May.

    The female of the onion moth lives for about 2 weeks. During this period, she has time to lay about 100 eggs, the development of which lasts 6-9 days.

    To protect plants from the onion moth, you should follow the rules of crop rotation, regularly loosen the soil, apply mineral fertilizers in a timely manner and spray planting insecticides. You should also destroy plant residues.

    Морковная моль распространена повсеместно. Она может нанести достаточно серьезный вред семенникам моркови, петрушки, пастернака, сельдерея, укропа, тмина, кориандра, аниса и фенхеля. Гусеница морковной моли питается цветками и бутонами. Чаще всего ее шелковинки стягивают молодые плоды и соцветия, реже - листья. Морковная моль - бабочка темно-коричневого цвета. The front edge of its wings is reddish, and the rear - pinkish-gray. Wingspan reaches 14-18 mm.

    The caterpillar is brownish-red, covered with white bumps, the head and legs are black. The caterpillar length is 10-13 mm. The greenish eggs of the umbrella moth are oval, slightly flattened. Their length is 0.5-0.6 mm.

    Carrot moth overwinter in various secluded places, such as crevices and cracks in buildings and fences. The caterpillars cause the main damage in July, in the beginning of August they start to pupate.

    To combat pest has become more effective, you must get rid of wild umbrella weeds. During the onset of the budding stage of celery seed plants, plants are sprayed with biological agents such as entobacterin, dendrobacillin and lepidocide.

    Exclamation scoop and pest control

    An exclamation scoop damages almost all types of vegetable crops, but is especially dangerous for cabbage and carrots. The wings of this butterfly reach 38-46 mm in scope.

    They are gray or gray-brown. At the base of the wings is a spot, shaped like an exclamation mark. The color of the pupa of the pest is brown, and the caterpillars are dark gray. The caterpillar feeds on root vegetables, in which it makes large cavities, and leaves. Scoop can harm young plants and sprouted shoots.

    To control pests carefully plow the soil, cultivate the soil before sowing. In the beds make granular insecticides. Crops are sprayed with special preparations and insecticides.