Makhaon is a butterfly belonging to the detachmentlepidoptera, a family of sailfishes. This rare species of butterflies (Papilio machaon) today is listed in the Red Book. Until recently, the mahaon was considered one of the most common butterflies in Europe, and today is on the verge of extinction. In total in the world fauna there are about 550 species of this family.
Carl Linnaeus gave the name to this butterfly in honor ofdoctor Machaon - hero of the Trojan War, who saved and eased the suffering of Roman soldiers. Butterfly machaon, photo of which can be seen not only in the encyclopedia, but also in the form of jewelry and souvenirs), is considered one of the most beautiful butterflies in Europe. The bizarre shape of the wings, their original contrast and brightness, piercingly bright colors, pronounced ornamentation, rapid flight in the manner of the bird - make this butterfly unique.
The reasons for the reduction of the species is destructionplaces of its dwelling, as well as amateur catching. The traditional habitat is the Palaearctic region from Russia to Japan, also Canada and Alaska, the Alpine plains of the Himalayas. Distributed in Europe, especially in the UK (in the swamps of East Anglia). Prefers open places.
Butterfly mahaon flies depending on the place of residence at an altitude of 2 to 4,5 thousand meters. On average it makes 2-3 clutches a year on umbelliferous plants (parsley, dill, cumin).
Caterpillars (green with red dots andtransverse black strips) appear after 7 days. They grow until the middle of summer, then they become heavy and slow, almost do not eat, they are attached head down to the stem of the plant - and turn into a pupa of green-brown color, which at this stage hibernates. Departure of the first generation occurs in May-June, the second - in August.
The butterfly mahaon is flying in glades, fringes, meadowsand in the kitchen gardens. She is almost indefatigable, rarely sits down for a long time, often waving her wings during meals. It feeds on flowers, fodder plants for it are parsley, fennel and other umbrellas.
Today you can meet such a butterfly quite rarely. Measures to protect the species (regulation of chemical treatments, prohibition of collecting, preserving their habitats) are not accepted.
Butterfly machaon is quite large (70-90millimeters). The wings are yellow, with spots curved in the form of the moon along the edge and a black longitudinal strip. The root region of the front wings is black with yellow sputtering. The hind wings have an elongated black "tail" with yellow-blue spots. In the corners of the wings there is a contrasting red-brown "eye".
Coloring the upper and lower sides of the wings is similar, slightly lighter look from below. If the butterflies are from the summer generation, then they are characterized by a paler color compared to the spring ones.
Ability to adapt to different conditionsexistence testifies to the wide ecological plasticity of the species. Nevertheless, possessing an almost ideal survival mechanism, the butterfly mahaon does not withstand anthropogenic influences on its habitat, which create for it a truly extreme situation.