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The Swallowtails (Lepidoptera: Papilionidae, Papilioninae) of Papua Indonesia

by Jan Moonen

Graphium (Graphium) agamemnon (Linnaeus, 1758)

ssp. ligatus (Rothschild, 1895)

references and synonymy:

Papilio agamemnon Linnaeus, 1758 (China)
Papilio oegisthus: Montrouzier, 1856 (misspelling of aegisthus Linnaeus, 1763) (Woodlark Island)
Papilio agamemnon local form: Wallace, 1865 (New Guinea, Aru, Waigeu)
Papilio agamemnon: Koch, 1865 (New Guinea); Butler, 1874 (New Guinea); Kirsch, 1877 (New Guinea); Ribbe, 1886 (Aru); Grose-Smith, 1894 (New Guinea)
Papilio aegistus: Butler, 1887 (nec Linnaeus, 1763) (New Guinea)
Papilio agamemnon ligatus Rothschild, 1895 (New Guinea (type), Waigeu, Aru, Queensland, Woodlark Island (?)); Jordan, 1909 (New Guinea, Misool, Waigeu, Japen, Numfor, Roon, D'Entrecasteaux Islands, Woodlark, Yanarba)
Papilio agamemnon atreus Fruhstorfer, 1903 (syn.) (d'Entrecasteaux: Kiriwina)
Papilio agamemnon mynion Fruhstorfer, 1906 (syn.) (Queensland)
Papilio agamemnon ligathus: Tillyard, 1926 (misspelling)

Taxonomic and general notes

Graphium agamemnon is a common species with a very extended range. In the mainland of tropical Asia and the greater Sunda islands and the Philippines the nominate form occurs. There are 21 different subspecies described, mostly from the outer regions (islands) of the range. Eastward the range of agamemnon extends to the Solomon Islands. In Papua the subspecies ligatus occurs, described by Rothschild after specimens from New Guinea (type), Waigeo, Aru, Woodlark and Queensland. Subspecies ligatus has broader wings, specially the hindwings, compared to the nominate form and the tails are much reduced in both sexes. In most areas the females have longer tails than the males.
It is a
very rapid flyer and goes fast from flower to flower fluttering its wings constantly.
Saigusa et al. (1982) divide the agamemnon-group into three subgroups: the agamemnon-subgroup, the macfarlanei-subgroup and the wallacei-subgroup. Graphium agamemnon and G. meeki (Solomon Is.) form together the agamemnon-subgroup.

fig. 1 Graphium agamemnon ligatus (male, a. upperside, b. underside), Wapoga region, Kwadewa (RMNH)

fig. 2 Graphium agamemnon ligatus (female, a. upperside, b. underside), Lereh, Gunung Badrul (RMNH)




STATUS: The fenology and distribution of ssp. ligatus in Papua and adjacent islands are still subject of study. Parsons (1998) gives a quite complete review of early stages and foodplants as mentioned in literature and from his own observations in Papua New Guinea. A rather common species.

PAPUA LOCALITIES: Waigeo; Batanta: Wairey, Waringkabom; Misool; Numfor: Namber; Biak: Sansundi; Supiori: Korido; Japen: Wapoga; Roon; Moor Islands; Mambor Island; Podena Island; New Guinea: Ampas, Andai, Beaufort Bivak, Boepoel (Bupul), Dabra, Jayapura, Kloofbivak, Kobakma, Kokas, Kwerba, Manokwari, Marina Valen, Meja Reserve, Miei, Nabire, Sorong, Tamrau Mts., Timika, Waena, Windesi. Details in gazetteer.

EXTERNAL DISTRIBUTION: Sri Lanka, India, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Bangladesh to South China and Indonesia, Philippines, New Guinea to Solomon Islands.

DATA SOURCES: KSP, RMNH. Literature (see below).






D'Abrera, B., 1971. Butterflies of the Australian Region. Lansdowne Press Pty Ltd, Melbourne: 415 pp.
Fruhstorfer, H., 1903. Verzeichnis der in Tonkin, Annam und Siam gesammelten Papilioniden und besprechung verwandter Formen. Berl. ent. Z. 47(3/4):167-234 (Jan. 1903)
Fruhstorfer, H., 1906. Neue Papilioniden Ent. Zeit. 20(2):9-10 (8 Apr. 1906)
Igarashi, S., 1979. Papilionidae and their early stages. (in Japanese) Vol.I Text:1-218, ill. Vol.II Plates color:1-223; bl/w:1-32; bl/w:1-102 (foodplants) Kodansha, Tokyo.
Jordan, K., 1908-1910. Papilionidae, Papilio bis Armandia. in Seitz: Großschmetterlinge der Erde. Die Indo-Australische Tagfalter. IX:11-109,112; Pls.1-49.
Linnaeus, C., 1758. Syst. Nat. (ed.10) 1:462 Papilio agamemnon.
Mastrigt, H. van & E. Rosariyanto, 2005. Kupu Kupu, Untuk Wilayah, Mamberamo Sampai, Peg. Cyclops. Conservation International Indonesia
Parsons, M., 1998. The Butterflies of Papua New Guinea. Their Systematics and Biology. Academic Press. San Diego, etc.
Rothschild, W., 1895. A revision of the Papilios of the Eastern Hemisphere, exclusive of Africa. Novitates zoologicae 2(3):167-463. pl.4
Saigusa, T. et al., 1982. Phylogeny and Geographical Distribution of the Swallow-Tail Subgenus Graphium (Lepidoptera: Papilionidae). Entomologia Generalis 8(1): 59-69.
Tillyard, 1926. The insects of Australia and New Zealand. Sydney, Angus & Robertson 8vo :xvi +560 pp., pls 1-44 (8 col.)