Monday, 12 October 2015

149. Papilio nephelus chaon (The Yellow Helen)

Number: 149
Family: Papilioniidae
Sub-Family: Papilioniinae
Species: Papilio nephelus chaon Westwood,1845
Common name(s): The Yellow Helen
Photography location: Cuc Phuong N.P. (Ninh Binh Prov.)

Papilio nephelus chaon superficially closely resembles P. helenus but the latter is smaller and has red submarginal lunules on the underside hindwings, whereas these are yellowish-orange in nephelus. Moreover, the HW upper discal white patch is larger in nephelus, formed of elongate broad streaks in interspaces 4 to 7 (5 to 7 in helenus).

Congregation of mudpuddling Papilio species - protenor (1 in flight), polytes, nephelus, helenus (hiddden) - + 1 Prioneris thestylis 

Two Spangle Papilio protenor euprotenor mudpuddling with a Yellow Helen

Papilio protenor euprotenorP. polytes and P. nephelus (1 in flight on the right corner)

Yellow Helen with Spangle Papilio protenor euprotenor,  Little Map Cyrestis themire and Yellow Orange Tip Ixias pyrene (in flight)

Upperside view of Papilio nephelus chaon
 This species is easily recognisable by the white hindwing patch reaching across four spaces, rather than only three as in helenus. The submarginal lunules on the hindwing underside are ochre yellow or cream rather than red, but are highly variable in size, from totally absent to fully developed lunules in all interspaces

A specimen resting on a fern - the white patch is hidden by the FW

Papilio nephelus chaon courtship (July 2016, Tam Dao)

Papilio nephelus mudpuddling with P. helenus and P. protenor

Another puddle party (water seepage on a rocky slope at a riverbank, Tam Dao, mid-June 2016) with 5 Papilio species (1 nephelus chaon, 2 helenus, 3 bianor gladiator, 4 polytes, 5 memnon) + Graphium eurypylus cheronus (6)

Four species of Papilionidae puddling together: Chilasa clythia, Papilio polytes, Papilio nephelus chaon, Graphium doson

Two P. nephelus chaon (background) puddling with P. polytes and Papilio helenus

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