Other Common Names
Dainty Swallowtail

It might sound strange that the one species might be called Dainty and Dingy, but in fact both names are appropriate. When they're newly emerged, these butterflies really are pretty things, and Dainty Swallowtail certainly suits them. But when they get a bit worn the Dingy name tag seems more fitting.

I see these butterflies around from time to time, though never as often or in as many places as P. aegeus, and I've never found the larvae of this species on my orange tree.

It's interesting to watch one of these insects patrolling its territory. Most of the time it floats slowly around, occasionally landing on a small bush. Before landing, however, it makes several approaches of the intended landing site, presumably to be sure it's a safe place.
I'm at a loss to understand how the defence of the territory is supposed to work. I've seen one of these butterflies chase off a much bigger Polyura sempronius, and yet I've also seen a P. anactus being chased away by little Grey Ringlets.

Ingleburn - March, April, September, October 2004; March 2005.
Mount Annan Botanic Garden - April, October 2004