Common Bluebottle

Common Bluebottle

The Common Bluebottle Butterfly, known as Graphium Sarpedon scientifically is one of the sublime members of the swallowtail family (Papilionidae). It can usually be spotted in tropical and subtropical areas of Asia, Africa, and Australia, in low-lying areas not exceeding a height of 1600 meters above sea level. The butterfly is named after its bottle-like appearance that it gains from a blue-green band pattern on its wings.

The butterfly's life cycle includes four stages similar to other butterfly species: egg, larva (caterpillar), pupa, and adult butterfly. The female butterfly lays her small, oval-shaped, and white-colored eggs on a host plant, like a cinnamon tree. After hatching for a few days, the green-colored caterpillar emerges and starts feeding on the host plant. The larvae feature black markings on their backs and have a line of spines along them. As the caterpillar grows, it sheds its skin several times. After it achieves its full size, it turns into a brown pupa. The pupa attaches to a leaf or a branch of the host plant, where it remains in this stage for several weeks. A large adult butterfly emerges at last and flies away. 

Once the adult butterfly lays its eggs, the Common Bluebottle Butterfly's life cycle starts all over again.

The wings of the adult are black with that signature blue-green band cutting across its middle. Compared to females, males have longer tails on their hindwings and more vibrant blue-green coloration on their wings. The body of both males and females are brown in color. The wingspan of the adult butterfly is blue and measures about 90mm. The adult butterfly has a lifespan of about 2-3 weeks. 

The flight of the Common Bluebottle Butterfly is remarkable due to its speed and agility. It can fly quickly and erratically, making it tricky for its predators to catch it. Furthermore, it can fly long distances, which makes it easier for colonization in new areas. Pollinating plants and controlling insect populations, this butterfly is an essential part of the ecosystem.

The butterfly has cultural significance in various cultures. In India, it's seen as a symbol of beauty, grace, and freedom. It's even associated with the Hindu god Krishna, who can be seen riding on a chariot pulled by bluebottle butterflies. In Japan, the butterfly is regarded as a symbol of good luck and longevity. It's also associated with samurai, who would often feature butterfly imagery on their armor. In China, the butterfly is a symbol of love and fidelity. It's also related to yin and yang, two opposing forces said to be balanced in the universe.

The Common Bluebottle Butterfly has been a famous subject for expression in art and literature worldwide. It's been depicted in paintings, sculptures, and poems, and the butterfly's beauty, grace, and symbolism make it a popular and timeless subject for artistic expression.

To spot the Common Bluebottle Butterfly in Nepal, the best time is during the spring and summer months. During these months, the weather is warm and sunny, and the butterflies are most active.