Wednesday, 3 February 2016

153. Graphium xenocles kephisos (The Great Zebra)

Number: 153
Family: Papilioniidae
Sub-Family: Papilioniinae
Species: Graphium xenocles kephisos (Fruhstorfer, 1902)
Common name(s): The Great Zebra
Photography location: Cuc Phuong N.P. (Ninh Binh Prov.)

Monastyrskii & Devyatkin (2016) listed 20 Graphium species recorded in Vietnam viz. cloanthus, sarpedon, doson, evemon, eurypylus, chironides, leechi, arycles, agamemnon, phidias, macareus, megarus, xenocles, agetes, antiphates, aristeus, nomius, mullah, mandarinus, eurous.

Graphium xenocles ranges from Bhutan to Thailand. The subspecies indochinensis inhabits Thailand, N. Laos, N. and C. Vietnam, S. China.

Both sexes exhibit a flight pattern similar to the Danainae models which they mimic, slow and seemingly unafraid; but, unlike the models, will fly away quickly if disturbed.

A male Graphium xenocles puddling with two Red Helen (Papilio helenus) and a Spotted Sawtooth (Prioneris thestylis)

Same individual with Prioneris thestylis

Graphium xenocles with Graphium chironides

Graphium xenocles can be distinguished from the rather similar species macareus by the presence of an orange-yellow spot on the anal angle of the hindwing, and its usually larger size.

A distant but interersting shot of Graphium macareus (right) side by side with G. xenocles (Cuc Phuong, July 2016)
Males xenocles beat their forewings while puddling, unlike macareus, which sit on the mud with wings closed

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