Linnaeus, 1758 – (Dovetail)
Because of its wide distribution and magnificent pattern, it is perhaps the Italian butterfly par excellence. It is a species of considerable size (60-90 mm). In Italy, it is distributed throughout the peninsula, but its presence extends throughout Europe, Asia and all of North America. Adults have creamy yellow wings with black spots and veins. A pair of very conspicuous tails extend from the hind wings and very close to these tails is a conspicuous patch of red, outlined in black and flanked by two other patches of intense blue colour. It is an adaptable species and is practically omnipresent on Elba in meadows, along roadsides, but also in flower gardens and at the edge of the Mediterranean maquis. On the island, this species usually has three generations a year, appearing in spring, summer and late autumn. The caterpillar has a beautiful green color, is decorated with black, orange striped bands and has a feature that makes it truly unique. On the head, when threatened, she can eject a specific organ (osmeterium) that emits a smelling substance that can discourage the would-be enemy. Host plants: Daucus carota, Phoeniculum vulgare and Ruta spp.