I originally wrote this blog post about the Scarce Swallowtail butterfly back in 2012. Six years later I’m excited to report that this summer, for the first time, Scarce Swallowtail butterflies have been happily enjoying the lavender and verbena bonariensis here at Le Jardin Perdu. Although I’ve seen this beautiful butterfly elsewhere around France, this is the first time we have ever seen one in our garden.
Here are a few photographs I managed to take of the stunning butterfly in our garden.
2012 original blog post
Despite its name, the Scarce Swallowtail butterfly is in fact common throughout Central and Southern Europe, and here in France it is most commonly seen in the south of the country, but rarely above 2000m.
The Scarce Swallowtail frequents flowery meadows and sunny hillsides, and tends to favour blackthorn bushes (sloe), hawthorn bushes and orchards.
Creamy white in colour, the Scarce Swallowtail butterfly has black tiger-like stripes and a long black tail with blue crescents and red spots on the back wings. Both male and females have the same markings.
They fly in late spring and mid-summer, so if you live in the South of France keep an eye out for them now.
If you live in a different area of France and spot a Scarce Swallowtail I’d love to know!
The below photograph was kindly sent to me by Sarah Beattie who lives in Gers, département 32 (twitter @sarahbeattiegra) – thanks Sarah!