Zoological Illustrations/VolII-Pl92

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Zoological Illustrations
by William Swainson
Vol II. Pl. 92. Papilio Polymetus.
Zoological Illustrations Volume II Plate 92.jpg

PAPILIO,

Butterfly

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Generic Character.

Antennæ graciles, clavis elongatis, obtusis, sub-arcuatis, rarò compressis. Palpi brevissimi, reflexi, remoti, linguæ basin vix obtegentes, articulo ultimo obtuso, minimo. Pedes antici longi, articulo secundo infrà gibbo.

Sectiones.

I. Græci.

Pectore maculis sanguineis carente.
a. Ecaudati, alis inferioribus elongatis, basi angustâ.
b. Percaudati, alis fasciis fulvis vel viridibus ornatis, inferioribus caudis, elongatis, angustis, instructis.
c. Caudati, alis inferioribus caudis obtusis, patulis, instructis.
* Alis fulvo fasciatis.
** Alis nigricantibus.
d. Dentati, alis inferioribus dentatis.
e. Orbiculares, alis inferioribus brevibus, orbicularibus.

II. Trojani.

Pectore maculis sanguineis insigni.
a. Ecaudati, alis inferioribus elongatis, basi latâ.
b. Caudati, alis inferioribus caudis obtusis, patulis, instructis.
c. Dentati, alis inferioribus dentatis.
d. Orbiculares, alis inferioribus brevibus, orbicularibus.
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Generic Character.

Antennæ slender, the club elongated, obtuse, slightly arched, and rarely compressed. Feelers very short, reflected, remote, hardly covering the base of the tongue, the last joint obtuse and minute; anterior feet long, with a gibbous appendage on the under part of the second joint.

Sections.

I. Greeks.

Breast without sanguineous spots.
a. Tailless; lower wings elongated, and narrow at the base.
P. Sarpedon. Nereus C. Macleayanus G.
b. Long tailed; wings generally banded with yellow or green.
P. Codrus. Sinon. Antheus. Podalirius. Machaon, &c.
c. Tailed; lower wings with obtuse patulous tails.
* Wings varied with yellow bands.
P. Torquatus. Thoas. C. Ilioneus (Donovan) &c.
** Wings generally dark, without bands.
P. Troilus. Paris. Severus. Pammon, &c.
d. Dentated; lower wings dentated, without tails.
P. Ægeus et Erechtheus. Don. Amphitryon. Drusius. Demolius C.
e. Orbicular; lower wings short, orbicular.
P. dissimilis. Similis C. Assimilis (Drury). Polydamas? Lin.

II. Trojans.

Breast with sanguineous spots.
a. Tailless; lower wings elongated and broad at the base.
P. Memnon. Polymnestor. Agenor. Hector. C.
b. Tailed; lower wings with obtuse patulous tails.
P. Polydorus. Romulus. Coon, &c.
c. Dentated; lower wings dentated.
P. Evander. (Godart.) Amosus? C.
d. Orbicular; lower wings short, orbicular.
P. Priamus. Panthous. Amphrisius, Harmonia et Cressida (Donovan.)
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From the earliest ages, the Butterfly appears to have attracted the admiration of mankind; and we find it celebrated by their poets as figurative of gaiety and pleasure, and by their sages as an emblem of the human soul. It has been interwoven in one of their most beautiful allegories, and has been consecrated in our own days by several poets, though by none with such exquisite taste and moral feeling, as by the venerable Historian of the Medici.

So few of those insects, generally called Butterflies, were known to Linnæus, that he included them all in one genus, dividing them, for the most part, into natural groups. Fabricius continued this arrangement, with little variation, and has left us the description of near 1,150 species! Yet before his death, this laborious naturalist saw the absolute necessity of dividing this immense genus into many others, and left among his MSS. a sketch of his proposed arrangement, published afterwards by Illiger, and partially adopted (we venture to think also very imperfectly) by M. Latreille.

The insects which are therefore now left under the old genus Papilio, are principally found out of Europe, and are remarkable for their richness of colouring and immense size. M. M. Latreille and Godart have described, with great precision, 146 species: it is, however, to be regretted, that they have adopted no sections or divisions to assist the student in his search after any particular species, among this extensive number. The great disadvantage of this is very obvious, and it has induced me to attempt something like a natural distribution of those insects, which, with every care to avoid an unnatural separation of kindred groups, I am fully aware, in some cases, is very artificial, and it is only offered until a greater knowledge of the larvæ, &c. will enable us to fix on more substantial characters than those I have adopted. This, however, will be a work of time; and until then, I think some guide to the ready knowledge of the species, however objectionable, is better than none.

Much might be said on the affinities which connect this with several other genera. Among the most striking is that existing between them and the Noctuæ (N. Patroclus Fab.) by means of Pap. Leilus Lin. which thus stands between the night and the day-flying Lepidopteræ. Many of the insects placed in our division of Græci caudati, are allied to Danaus Lat. by the larva of both having retractile hornshaped processes, and the two genera seem still further connected by Papilio similis and dissimilis in one group, and by P. Priamus in the other; while the clear winged species from New Holland seem to indicate an affinity with the Heliconiæ.

The laborious and important investigations of M. Savigny into the structure of the mouth of these insects are too well known, to require a more particular notice in this slight sketch of the subject.


PAPILIO Polymetus.

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Specific Character.

P. (Trojani orbiculares) alis atris; superis fasciâ breviori (fœminæ albâ) anticè albâ, posticè cyaneâ, inferis dentatis, maculâ coccineâ quadripartitâ.
Papilio (T. orb.) wings black, superior, with a short white band, which is blue at the base (in the female entirely white); inferior dentated, with a four cleft crimson spot.
Papilio Polymetus. Godart in Ency. Meth. vol. ix. p. 35. no. 28.
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First described by M. Godart; unless, indeed, it may hereafter prove a variety of P. Lycander (Cramer, Pl. 29. C. D.) which approaches as near to the male, as P. Hippason does to the female. The first sex is here represented at the upper and under figures; the middle is of the female, which M. Godart has not described. It is a native of Brazil; I found it at Bahia only in certain woods, and subsequently met with a variety in the province of Rio Janeiro, differing only in being much larger.