The swallowtail family of butterflies include the largest butterflies in the world. The common yellow swallowtail here is a widespread species, through Asia, Europe and North America. The image here is from the Island of Rhodes in Greece, but a subspecies of the same occurs in India.

common yellow swallowtail, papilio machaon

It is interesting to note that in some species of the papilionidae family of butterflies, the males glue the female genital tract after mating. Mating plugs, as they are called, assures sperm storage without any loss, and also has a role in preventing the females from remating- a function to enhance male control over females in copulation. Not sure if the yellow swallowtails have this capability.

Meanwhile, the caterpillars of the common yellow swallowtails have special tactics to detract enemies. They have an eversible (turn inside out) cervical gland called osmeterium, which produces acidic secretion effective in defense against ants.
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