Friday, 17 June 2016

177. Papilio bianor gladiator (The Chinese Peacock)

Number: 177
Family: Papilioniidae
Sub-Family: Papilioniinae
Species: Papilio bianor gladiator Fruhstorfer, 1901
Common name(s): The Chinese Peacock
Photography location: Tam Dao (Vinh Phuc Prov.), Ba Vi N.P. (Hanoi) foothills

Papilio bianor is found in north-east India, Burma, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam (N. & C.), South Korea, China, Taiwan and Japan.
Papilio bianor gladiator was described by Fruhstorfer from Chiem Hoa, Tonkin [= northern Vietnam]. This taxon is recorded from Sikkim, Assam to N.Myanmar, N.Thailand, Laos, Vietnam (N. & C.), S.China.

Male Papilio bianor gladiator at water seepage on a rocky slope at a riverbank (Tam Dao, mid-June 2016)

Zoom out to show the entire puddle party with 5 Papilio species (1 nephelus chaon, 2 helenus, 3 bianor gladiator, 4 polytes, 5 memnon) + Graphium eurypylus cheronus (6)

Can be confused with P. dialis doddsi (or P. doddsi for some authors). Apart from the fully developed tails (most Vietnamese dialis are tailless or with small stumpy tails) there are several other characters. Note the lines of male androconial scales near the tornus of the forewing upperside are merged together, in P. dialis they are separate. Also the red and pink submarginal lunules on the hindwing underside are very different in dialis, and the basal half of the forewing underside in bianor is usually much darker than the apex, whereas in dialis there is less difference (Adam Cotton, pers. comm.).

Another male specimen, from Ba Vi this one, photographed in December 2016:

Papilio bianor gladiator on Lantana camara - an extremely popular nectar source for a wide variety of butterflies

A rather worn specimen - this is the problem with winter trips!

Many thanks to Adam Cotton for the information and ID help.

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