Broad-tailed Swallowtail Butterfly
Agehana maraho (Shiraki & Sonan, 1934)
It is an endemic species of Taiwan, distributed over the central and northern woods at a height of 1000-2000 meters, mostly in the Guanwu, Xinchu County and Taipingshan, Yilan County and also in Tengzhi, Kaohsiung County to the farthest south. It is a large swallowtail butterfly. The adult can spread wings to a width of 9.5-10 cm that has forewings with a shade of dark brown, a white big spot in the middle chamber of hindwings, and red crescent markings in the margin. It is distinguished from other butterfly species featuring primarily an especially broad protrusion at the tail end, internal penetration through the third and fourth wing veins and red color. Both the female and male have the same pattern, but the female is larger in body size.
The adults are active from April to August, reaching two climaxes between April-May and July-August, respectively. They fly in low speed and graceful manners. In addition to flying along the cliffs to suck honey, they also often drink water in the river wetlands. They ovulate on the Sassafras randaiense of the family Lauraceae, on which the larvae would feed. Their life cycle is divided into five stages. For the 1-4 stages, the larvae appear like bird droppings, while at the last stage, their body color will turn into emerald green. The pupae are brownish gray, fixed on twigs with the cerci and hanging filaments. They spend the winter in chrysalises.