Atrophaneura semperi (C. & R. Felder, 1861)

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The fore wings: Male. Length forewing/wingspan 65-71/113-117 mm. Forewing upperside black, vaguely pale on both sides of veins; underside xxxxx?? H 

The hind wings:  Hindwing outer margin crenulate, at end of vein 4 extending into a short tail; anal area enlarged; upperside black, whitish in anal fold along vein 2, or entire anal third of wing whitish; underside xxxxx?? 

The body:  

Sex differences: Female. Length forewing/wingspan 68-83/113-130 mm. Forewing upperside black to dark brownwith weak to strong, pale brown to whitisch streaks on both sides of the veins; streaks may grow into a series of elongate spots between the (black) veins 2-8; underside xxxxx?? Hindwing outer margin strongly crenulate at end of veins extending into short tails, longest at vein 4; upperside black with hardly noticeble submarginal markings, varying to strong pinkish submarginal and median markinmgs; underside as upperside, but markings much more prominent, pinkish to brilliantly red

Variation and infraspecific taxa: There is much variation in color and development of the wing markings, particularly in the female, and although restricted to the Philippines seven subspecies have been distinguished.

Similar species: Not easily confused with other species. The strong crenulation of the hindwing of the female is unique in the genus.

Habitat: Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland,Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
Not much is known about the habitat of this species. It is thought that the host plant is of the genus Aristolochia, however the exact host plant species is unknown (Page and Treadaway 2003). This species is thought to inhabit lowland to medium altitude forest (Page and Treadaway 2003), and females have been seen in both primary and secondary forest (Page and Treadaway 2004). Adults are often seen to feed on flowers of dona aurora (Page and Treadaway 2004). The subspecies A. s. lizae is found feeding on flowering bushes in the late afternoon, alongside Papilio strandi elizabethae (Page and Treadaway 1984). In Bohol, the subspecies A. s. supernotas is often seen on the forest edge at all elevations, and the female is reportedly less abundant than the male (Okano et al. 1988). The subspecies A. s. aphthonia is found in dipterocarp forest, at temperatures between 19-32 degrees Celsius and at altitudes of 300-1,200 m on Mount Apo and Mount Timpoong (Mindanao) (Mohagan et al. 2011). The subspecies A. s. semperi is found in the same habitat in Mindanao, however it is found on Mount Musuan and not Mount Apo (Mohagan et al. 2011).
(IUCN 2020)

Population: Little is known about the current population trends of this species. In a previous status assessment of the world's swallowtails, Collins and Morris (1985) considered it to be not common. In a study of butterflies in Maitum Village, Tandag, Suriago del Sur, the subspecies A. s. aphthonia was reported as locally very rare and nationally rare, and as a rare threatened Philippine endemic species (Ramirez and Mohagan 2012).
Range: This species is found across the Philippines, in Bohol, Busuanga, Camiguin de Luzon, Camiguin de Mindanao, Cebu, Dinagat, Leyte, Luzon, Masbate, Mindanao, Mindoro, Negros, Palawan, Panaon, Panay, Polillo, Samar, Siargo and Sibuyan (Page and Treadaway 2004). The nominate subspecies semperi is found on Camiguin de Luzon, Central and Northern Luzon, and Polillo; subspecies albofasciata is found in Mindoro; subspecies aphthonia is found in Camiguin de Mindanao, Dinagar, Mindanao and Siargao; subspecies baglantis is found in Negros; subspecies imogene is found in Sibuyan; subspecies l izae is found in Panay; subspecies melanotus in Palawan and on the Calamian islands; subspecies sorsogona in south-east Luzon; subspecies s upernotatus is Bohol, Cebu, Leyte, Panaon and Samar; and recently described subspecies justini is found in Masbate (Page and Treadaway 2004). The estimated extent of occurrence is 935,000 km2.
(IUCN 2020)

Occurrence and observation maps

Map of Life

Host plants (as foodsource for larvae (L) or adults (A)) :


  • IUCN. 2020. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2020-3. Available at: (Accessed: 10 December 2020).
  • Mohagan, A.B., Mohagan, D.P. and Tambuli, A.E. (2011). Diversity of Butterflies in the Selected Key Biodiversity Areas of Mindanao, Philippines. Asian journal of Biodiversity. 2(1).
  • Okano, M., Okano, T. and Pizzaras, P. 1988. Butterflies taken in Bohol Island, The Philippines. Artes Liberales 43.
  • Page, M.G.P. and Treadaway, C.G. 2003. Papilionidae of the Philippine Islands I. Descriptions of New Subspecies and Changes in Classification. Part 17, supplement 8. Butterflies of the world, Verlag Goecke & Evers.
  • Page, M.G.P. and Treadaway, C.G. 2004. Butterflies of the World. Hillside Books, Canterbury.
  • Ramirez, R.K.C. and Mohagan, A.B. 2012. Diversity and Status of Butterflies in Maitum Village, Tandag, Surigao del Sur, Philippines. Asian Journal of Biodiversity 3: 74-112.