Iphiclides podalirius - photo © Ch. Almpantakis

Iphiclides podalirius, Crete - photo © Ch. Almpantakis

Iphiclides podalirius


Iphiclides podalirius is a butterfly of the family Papilionidae on the island of Crete, Greece.

Scientific name

Iphiclides podalirius (Linnaeus, 1758)

Common name

Scarce Swallowtail


Family: Papilionidae> Subfamily: Papilioninae > Tribus: Leptocircini > Genus: Iphiclides


Male to female: 70-80 mm


It is a very large distinctive butterfly. Males and females are slightly different in size.

The general background color of the wings is creamy yellow to pale yellow or white. On the front wings, there are six parallel tiger stripes and wedge-shaped markings.

At the outer edge of the hind wings, there are blue crescent markings, with an oblong, orange spot at the back corner and a relatively long white-tipped tail on the hindwing.


It flies slower than Papilio Machaon. The colors of the wings are used for protection against enemies.


Iphiclides podalirius in Crete can be found in gardens, glades, orchards, rocks, sunny grassy slopes, near cultivated or wild fruit trees, from seaside to mountains.

Food plant

The larva lives on Rosaceae plants.

Flight period

The butterfly flies in 2-3 generations per year.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

The butterfly has a unique appearance in Crete and can’t be confused with other butterflies of the island. Along with Papilio Machaon are the largest butterflies flying on the island.


Least Concern (LC)

(*European Red List of Butterflies, 2010)

Iphiclides Podalirius Distribution Map

*based on http://www.pamperis.gr/THE_BUTTERFLIES_OF_GREECE/MAPS.html

Iphiclides podalirius location map based on greek butterflies distributions map by L.N. Pamperis (revised 2021)

Other Papilionidae Species in Crete