Male the forewing Length forewing/wingspan 45/80 mm. Head either pink or black. Upperside and underside forewing black, broadly creamy white along the veins, giving the forewing a striped appearance; underside forewing.
The hind wings Upperside and underside hindwing black with conspicuous red submarginal spots and a short white band consisting of creamy white spots in space 1c to 4 and top of cell, separated by black aveins. .
Similar species Almost certainly a model for several mimics, including male Cressida cressida, female Papilio ambrax and female Papilio phestus, but wing pattern, especially of the hindwing, is different. The red abdominal markings, always present in P. polydorus, are always absent in Papilio.