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The Spanish Festoon. Zerynthia rumina (Linnaeus, 1758)

Diputación de Málaga
001 Arlequín

The Spanish Festoon. Zerynthia rumina (Linnaeus, 1758)

Safe appearance Probable appearance
Animal Life > Butterflies

Wingspan: from 4 to 5 cm. Its flying pattern is erratic. They normally fly close to the ground and above thicket.

Routes where it can be observed


Open wings:  With yellow, black and some red spots. The latter ones can be rather dim and they sometimes seem orange. Some of these butterflies' colour is between yellow and orange (canteneri form). At the outer margin of each wing, there are black wavy cuts with white endings.

Closed wings: the appearance is similar to the one described above, but the prevailing colour is white with yellow and small black spots. The outer margin of hindwings is wavy, coloured in white, black and red and yellow.

Similar species

Old World Swallowtail: It is bigger, without red spots, has two tails on the hindwings, and it is stronger at flying.

Scarce Swallowtail: It is also bigger and flies more strongly. It has black wedge-formed spots with two tails on the hindwings.

Biology and Habitat

This species can be found throughout the year. Two generations fly almost all year long, above all at the end of winter and spring. It can be seen on sunny days in winter.

Its caterpillars mostly live in forest and ticket, where they feed on the Andalusian Dutchman's Pipe or Pipe Vine (Aristolochia baetica), a poisonous perennial vine.

Distribution in the Great Path

This species is possible to find at any part of the route if there is a foodplant it feeds on. However, it is difficult to be spotted along 1st, 30th and 35th stage of the path as these stages go through towns or they are were highly adapted. In the northern part of the province, in Archidona, Antequera and Campillos, where farming is rather spread out, the species gets closer to rivers, and other places with local kind of plants which it feeds on.