One of my favourite butterflies here in Spain is the Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides podalirius feisthamelii). For one thing, when it flies past you, you can’t miss it. They are a big butterfly, and bright with their tiger-like black stripes on white. The nominate of the species actually has yellow in place of the white, whereas here in Spain, the subspecies I.P. feisthamelii is white but with yellow leading and trailing edges to the wings. Here I have noticed they seem to like thistles and sit atop them with their wings held open as they feed almost showing off allowing you to view their beautiful colours and markings. In the shot below taken last year you can see the undersides.
Under threat in central Europe due to changes in agricultural habits, I hope it doesn’t come to that here. To lose these huge beauties so that they do actually live up to their “Scarce” name would be a dreadful shame. For now though, they continue to be seen regularly.
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