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

by Jan Moonen


Graphium (Graphium) isander (Godman & Salvin, 1888)

ssp. imparilis (Rothschild, 1895)

Papilio sarpedon Linnaeus, 1758 Asia (Canton fide Toxopeus,1951)
Papilio sarpedon, Guérin, 1832 (nec Linné, 1758)
Papilio sarpedon, Boisduval, 1836
Papilio sarpedon, Doubl., Westw. & Hew., 1846
Papilio sarpedon, Montrouzier, 1857 Woodlark
Papilio sarpedon, Wallace, 1865
Papilio sarpedon, Koch, 1865
Papilio choredon C.& R. Felder, 1864 Australia (TL); New Guinea, Waigeu, Woodlark
Papilio choredon, Butler, 1876 N.Guinea; Cape York
Papilio choredon, Oberthür, 1880 Waigeu; Somerset, Cape York
Papilio sarpedon var. choredon Semper, 1878 Aru Is.
Papilio sarpedon choredon, Rothschild, 1895 Queensland, New South Wales; N. Guinea, Aru Isl., Waigeu; Woodlark Is.
Papilio sarpedon imparilis Rothschild, 1895 New Britain (TL), New Ireland, Duke of York
Papilio sarpedon messogis Fruhstorfer, 1907 Key & Aru (TL)
Papilio sarpedon messogis, Jordan, 1909 Key, Aru, Neu Guinea and islands around (Waigeu, d’Entrecasteaux Is., Louisiades, etc.)
Papilio sarpedon choredon, Jordan, 1909 New South Wales, Queensland
Papilio sarpedon temnus Fruhstorfer, 1907 (syn.) Deutsch Neu Guinea
Papilio sarpedon corycus Fruhstorfer, 1907 (syn.) Waigeu
Papilio sarpedon choredon, Rothschild, 1916 Wollaston exp.: Base Camp, Canoe Camp, Utakwa River 2500-3000 ft.
Graphium sarpedon choredon, D’Abrera, 1971 Aru, Kei, Misool, Salawati, Waigeu, W. Irian to Papua (= PNG), D’Entrecasteaux, Torres Strait isl., E. Australia down to southern NSW.
Graphium sarpedon choredon, Igarashi, 1979 Kai, Aru, New Guinea, Australia
Graphium sarpedon messogis, Igarashi, 1979 Bismarck (sic!)
Graphium sarpedon messogis, Tsukada & Nishiyama, 1982 Kai, Aru, New Guinea, Waigeu
Graphium sarpedon choredon, Tsukada & Nishiyama, 1982 N. S. Wales, Queensland
Graphium sarpedon choredon, Parsons, 1998 PNG (holotype Australia (Dep.?))
Graphium choredon, Page & Treadaway, 2013 Australia
Graphium isander imparilis, Page & Treadaway, 2013 Key, Aru, Waigeu, Nw. Guinea, d'Entrecasteaux Is., Woodlark, Luisiades, Vulcan Is.,Bismarck Arch.: N.Hannover, N.Ireland, N.Britain (TL), Nusa, N.Lauenburg.


Taxonomical note

Graphium sarpedon originally was suposed to be a widespread species with several subspecies and for most lepidopterologists these were difficult to distinguish. In 2013 Page & Treadaway plublished their studies on speciation in Graphium sarpedon and its allies. This group of former ‘sarpedon’ appears to be a group of eight sibling species: G. teredon C.& R.Felder, G. sarpedon Linnaeus, G. adonarensis Rothschild, G. milon C.& R.Felder, G. anthedon C.& R.Felder, G. jugans Rothschild, G. isander Godman & Salvin and G. choredon C.& R.Felder. In the New Guinea region G. isander occurs and appeared specific distinct from G. choredon from Australia, although there was some confusion in the past. The subspecies messogis Fruhstorfer, which occurs in Papua, appeared to be a synonym of ssp. imparilis Rothschild. So that makes the correct combination for the Papua specimens: Graphium isander imparilis (Rothschild, 1895)







Sirsak, soursack or zuurzak (Annona muricata, Annonaceae) is a common foodplant of several Graphium species, including Graphium isander

fig. 1a/b (male) Dutch New Guinea, District Hollandia (Jayapura) (RMNH)

fig. 2a/b (male) Irian Jaya, Senopi (RMNH)

fig. 3a/b (female) Irian Jaya, Bomberai Peninsula (RMNH)

fig. 4a/b (female) Papua, Sinimburu (RMNH)

fig. 5a/b (female) Irian Jaya, Aramsolki (RMNH)





STATUS: A very common species, widely distributed all over New Guinea.

PAPUA LOCALITIES: Biak: Sansundi (Warsa); Waigeo; Salawati; Misool; New Guinea: Aramsolki, Dafonsoro, East Tami, Fakfak, Jayapura, Kloofbivak, Kobakma, Manokwari, Miei (Wandammen), Mokwam, Nabire, Pim, Sabang, Senopi, Sinimburu, Sorong, Van Weelskamp. Details in gazetteer.

EXTERNAL DISTRIBUTION: ssp. imparilis: Key, Aru, P.N.G., d'Entrecasteaux Is., Woodlark, Louisiades, Vulcan Is., Bismarck Archipelago (New Hannover, New Ireland, New Britain (TL), Nusa, New Lauenburg); ssp. impar: New Georgia (TL), Kulambangra, Gizo, Vella La Vella, Rendova; ssp. isander: Bougainville, Guadalcanal (TL), Florida, Isabel, Choiseul, Malaita, Russel, Shortland Is.

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






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Daawia & Supeni Sufaati, 2007. Survey on food plants of larvae and butterflies of the Papilionidae at the Reserve Cyclops Mountains. Suara Serangga Papua. ed. III Jan-March 2007.
D'Abrera, B. 1971. Butterflies of the Australian Region. Lansdowne Press Pty Ltd, Melbourne: 415 pp.
Fruhstorfer, 1907. Neue Papilio-Rassen aus dem Indoaustralischen Gebiet. Ent. Zeit. 21(30):182-184 (9 nov. 1907)
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. (15.VIII.1979) [Graphium sarpedon (Linné) p.170]
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Rothschild, W. 1916. Lepidoptera collected by the British Ornithologists’ Union and Wollaston Expeditions in the Snow Mountains, Southern Dutch New Guinea. Reports on the collections B.O.U.exp. and W.exp. Vol.II. London, 1916 (Papilionidae p.1-4)
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