Emperor Swallowtail

close up of a butterfly with black and light yellow markngs on a green background

When it comes to butterflies, I don’t have favorites, but there are some that always put a smile on my face. One of those is the emperor swallowtail (Papilio ophidicephalus) from South Africa.┬áIt has amazing features, including size (it is considered South Africa’s largest butterfly), striking colors, intriguing pattern, and fascinating life history.

But the most amazing feature is emperor swallowtail’s spectacular ultraviolet markings that can only be observed with the aid of a black light.