Specimen of the Month April 2012

Swallowtail Butterfly

Swallow-tailed Butterfly Papilio machaon melitensis (Farfett tal-Fejġel)

The largest butterfly in the Maltese Islands. The race occurring locally is endemic, that is, it is not found anywhere else. In the not so distant past it was much common but like most butterflies it has declined drastically through human activities. One of its local vernacular names is Tal-Lira, in 1976 this butterfly was figured on the 10Lm Gold Coin. The Swallow-tailed butterfly is also the logo of the National Museum of Natural History.

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