Graphium agamemnon, a green-spotted swallowtail butterfly

Graphium agamemnon (Tailed Jay, Green Spotted Triangle) –

Graphium agamemnon (Tailed Jay, Green Spotted Triangle) with wings fully spreadWhoa! I’m enraptured! Found this magnificent beauty in our garden a few days ago!

A large tropical butterfly with a wingspan of 7-8 cm. What a spectacular looking butterfly!

Apple green spots and bands of variable sizes beautifully contrast against its predominantly black upperside and fashioned in fabulous symmetry! Typical of the Swallowtail butterflies, its hindwings end with a short tail which is longer in the female species. Absolutely gorgeous!

A side profile of Graphium agamemnon (Tailed Jay, Green Spotted Triangle)Its underside is also as attractive with similar green spots on sooty-brown ground color that is mottled with darker brown, grey and pink streaks, though markings are not as clearly defined. Very colorful indeed as these colors tint onto its thorax and abdomen too.

The last time I saw this elusive beauty was almost 6 months ago whereby for almost a week to 10 days it visited our backyard religiously around 1pm, flying swiftly and restlessly around and flitting about the Annona squamosa tree, barely stopping for a second or two. Just knew today that this tree is one of its larval host plants…no wonder, it kept coming back! Anyway I ran out of patience chasing it around with my camera and just gave up monitoring its visits then.

Nonetheless, last Saturday morning while looking out at our front yard through the sliding glass door, I can’t believe when I spotted this beauty sunbathing so STILL on the leaf of Red Mussaenda. A collage of Tailed Jay butterflies (Graphium agamemnon)As you’ve guessed, I ran out with my old faithful digital camera (Canon PowerShot A60) and kept saying “please Jesus…” as I walked stealthily towards it. Incredible…it willingly posed for 36 pictures! It was amazingly still for almost 10 minutes, moving only at the last minute to spread out its wings for the last 5 shots before it said goodbye. What bliss! My joy was indescribable…as if in seventh heaven so to speak! :)

Discounting the blurry shots caused by my excitement, I did succeed to get 16 perfect images. Just great to enable me to create this lovely photo collage, blending 3 of its pictures to display the different positions of its wings. Just can’t help showcasing its beauty and sharing my blessing and gratitude here! If you would like to learn how to create a similar collage, click this tutorial. :D


  • Scientific name: Graphium agamemnon (Linnaeus, 1758)
  • Common name: Tailed Jay, Tailed Green Jay, Green Spotted Triangle, Green Triangle, Green Triangle Kite.
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths)
  • Suborder: Macrolepidoptera
  • Superfamily: Papilionoidea
  • Family: Papilionidae
  • Subfamily: Papilioninae
  • Genus: Graphium
  • Species: agamemnon

Range: Native to India, Sri Lanka through Southeast Asia and into Australia. Widely distributed across Asia – India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Andamans, Bangladesh, Brunei, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Kampuchea, southern China (including Hainan), Taiwan, South East Asia to Papua New Guinea and Australia (northern Queensland).

Habitat: Diverse habitats. Tropical rain forests or wooded regions of low elevations. Cultivated urban areas that include gardens and parks, as well as fruit orchards of the Annona species which are its host plants.

Food plants: The larval food plants are Polyalthia longifolia and mostly plants in the Annonacea family, especially Annona squamosa, Annona reticulata and Annona glabra. The adults on the other hand, can be found nectaring on a variety of flowers, such as Lantana, Ixora and Mussaenda.

External link:
1. Wikipedia for the lifecycle of Graphium agamemnon, and much much more.
2. Butterflies of Sri Lanka

Last edit: May 30, 2016

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4 Responses to “Graphium agamemnon, a green-spotted swallowtail butterfly”

  1. Noonathome Says:

    Wow, amazing photos. I always found this butterfly so restless. Never let me take a shot!

  2. Jacqueline Says:

    Thanks, Noonathome!
    Indeed, it’s such a restless and swift flier that I’m still amazed that it was so still on the morning I took these captures. :D

  3. Sibyl Says:

    Very delightful pictures:) Guess you might have pictures of black winged, green spotted butterflies. It would be nice if you can share them.

  4. Jacqueline Says:

    Thank you, Sibyl! So far, this is the only one of the color range you mentioned that frequents our garden.

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