Butterfly Mahaon photo and description of how it looks, how much lives and what it eats

Very beautiful and large butterfly related to the family of sailboats or gentlemen. Even the caterpillar of the butterfly of the Mahaon has a very remarkable and bright appearance. Name «Mahaon» The butterfly received from Karl Linnaeus, who named her in honor of the famous ancient surgeon.


Butterfly Mahaon is a rather dimensional representative of butterflies with a wingspan up to 10 centimeters in length. It is a daily butterfly. Long pinshaped antennae are located on the head. The head is almost motionless with large and complex facet eyes located on the sides.

The vision of the Mahans helps them to excellent distinguishing colors and objects, which is why they are well oriented in their territories.

The oral mechanism is represented by a black trunk, which after eating is curled in a kind of spiral. In the area of ​​the rear wings there are characteristic outgrowths in length up to one centimeter.

The color of the butterfly is predominantly yellow, on which dark patterns flaunt. The wings are decorated with blue and yellow spots, and at the base there is a characteristic red area similar to the eye. On the wings you can notice many different shades, including a pale sand, whitish and bright yellow tint.

Butterfly colors are largely due to its habitat. In the northern regions, this color is somewhat pale, and in the southern – Bright and intense.


The largest number of Mahans is located in Europe, with the exception of Denmark and Ireland. Some species live well in Asia, North America and Africa.

Prefer to live in steppe and meadow spaces, as well as forests and mountains. In the Alps at an altitude of two kilometers you can find this butterfly. Also in Tibet there were representatives at an altitude of almost 5 kilometers.

Behavior in nature

Since the mahaons become active with the onset of the day, they have access to many colors. These large butterflies need a large number of nectar, so they can often be found in various parks and gardens.

Males are territorial insects. They choose their personal space at the dominant height. Also, they are not alien to gather in small groups, sitting on the shore of water bodies. All individuals tend to sit on hills and tall trees. Many mahaons flutter on top and show their peculiar dance up and down.

In nature, it is almost impossible to catch the Mahaon at rest with all the spread wings, since the rear are invisible against the background of the front. Mahans can completely breed wings when a warm bright sunlight enters them.

Life expectancy

The period of the flight of these butterflies has been from spring to autumn. During this time, about three generations of these representatives appear. Many mahaons give only 2 generations of butterflies. The average life expectancy of an adult butterfly rarely exceeds 3 weeks.


Food may vary depending on the habitat. For example, in Central Asia, the main food of the Mahaons – sagebrush. In the middle strip, food consists of various umbrella crops, such as:

  • Borshchevik and carrots;
  • Parsley, Fennel, Dill;
  • Gorinik, prangos;
  • Hircha and a pryznik.

They like to eat mahaons and various root and birch shoots. Adult mahaons prefer floral nectar.

Propagation period

One female lays about 120 eggs. During the masonry period, the butterfly hangs over the plants to lay eggs on the side of the stem or on the plant sheet. The stage of the eggs of the Mahans lasts up to 5 days, at the end of which a black larva with bright spots appears. With age, they transform the color in green with orange dots and black stripes.

Turning the caterpillar of the mahaon into a doll

Larvae are extremely active and constantly eat. Due to this, literally in a week they reach 9 millimeter lengths. The most common food of larvae — These are ovary, flowers and leaves. One larva can eat a bed with dill. But with the onset of the pupa, the larva stops storing nutrients from food. The doll period occurs on the stems of plants. The color can be either yellow-green or brown. It depends on the pupation period. The doll period lasts from 2-3 weeks to several months. The butterfly speed depends on the climate.

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