Five-bar Swordtail

Flight of a Swordtail

The Indo-Chinese fivebar swordtail butterfly’s presence in the Chotanagpur pregion of West Bengal points to a balanced ecology in the area, argues wildlife enthusiasts from the area.

Indo-Chinese five-bar Swordtail, Graphium antiphates pompilius (Fabricius, 1787), is restricted to low elevation. It is a papilinoid butterfly with very swift flight, often flying rather high, so that it often looks more like a pierid than a swallowtail. The males of the species are rather attracted to wet mud and both sexes are fond of flowers

The distribution of the subspecies pompilius is restricted to North-east India like Buxa or Assam. It is quite astonishing that it is also found in areas of Chotanagpur plateau like Ajodhya Hill or Garhpanchakot Hill.

It was 8th of June, 2018, when I, along with Supriya Samanta, Saptarshi Goswami & Abhijit Satpati, visited the ruins of Garhpanchakot fort, in Purulia district of West Bengal. The day was hot and humid. The butterfly came to us and then reached the upper leaves of a nearby River Tamarind (Leucaena leucocephala) tree. Our intial reaction was that the butterfly was laying eggs. We soon realized it was marking its territory, as the River Tamarind is not the host plant of Five-bar Swordtail. The host plants of this particular species incude Desmos chinensis, Miliusa sp, Magnolia doltsopa etc.

The butterfly was previously recorded at Ajodhya hills of Purulia district by Supriya Samanta on 3rd August, 2017. Finding of this type of rare butterfly in Chotanagpur region of West Bengal clearly indicates a strong ecology of this particular region.


This is an joint article by Diptesh Goswami & Saptarshi Mukherjee

Diptesh Goswami- A zoology student of Garhpanchakot College, Purulia, and a butterfly lover, Diptesh is an active member of Green Plateau.








Read also:  Of Dancing flames and Geese

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About the Author /

By profession an SBI Employee, a Student of Zoology, who is an Amateur Conservationist, Photographer & Explorer. He has been working for the conservation in Chotonagpur Plateau (especially in Asansol) with his friends for the last 5 years. His group "Nature Lovers of Chotonagpur Plateau" emphasizes conservation and exploration of this little known vast eco-region.


  • Abhijit Satpati

    January 25, 2019

    Excellent work

  • Supriya Mahato

    January 25, 2019

    Lovely…Blog…Keep exploring.
    More to come

  • Diptesh Goswami

    January 25, 2019

    Great blog.Great record.cheers to green plateau.

  • K Subhendu

    January 25, 2019

    Beautifully described

  • Suman Banerjee

    January 25, 2019

    Very informative article. Take love Diptesh Bhai & Saptarshi Da 😍

  • Aniruddha Singhamahapatra

    January 25, 2019

    Great find.. Congratulations

  • Anik Karmakar

    January 25, 2019



    January 25, 2019


  • Anirban Mandal

    January 25, 2019

    Informative and detail descriptive article. Congrats to both Diptesh bhai and Saptarshi da, it’s a tremendous find. Much love.

  • Kalyan Mukherjee

    January 25, 2019

    Such a wounderful article.

  • Dibsundar mahato

    January 25, 2019


  • Supriya Samanta

    January 25, 2019

    Congo 😍

  • Saptarshi Goswami

    January 25, 2019

    Congratulations….Proud moment for all of us

  • Anirban Mandal

    January 30, 2019

    A good information rich article, good work..
    My heartiest congratulations to Saptarshi Da and Diptesh Bhai..

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