Papilio daksha Hampson, [1889] - Large-spotted Helen

Subspecies in India

(1) Papilio daksha daksha Hampson, [1889] – Sahyadri Large-spotted Helen

Taxonomic Information

This species was formerly treated as a subspecies of Papilio helenus (as Papilio helenus daksha). It is now raised to species level based on detailed molecular systematic studies, resulting in treating the Western Ghats and nearby populations as Papilio daksha daksha, and the Sri Lankan populations as Papilio daksha mooreanus Rothschild, 1895 (Joshi & Kunte 2022, and Condamine et al. 2023). See further information here.

In India, Papilio helenus is now restricted to the E. Himalaya and NE India, it does not occur in the Western Ghats and neighbouring areas.

Images of Papilio daksha are still available on this website under the species page of Papilio helenus but they will eventually move to this page as the website is updated.

Conservation and Special status

This species is not legally protected in India under any schedules of WildLife (Protection) Act, 1972.

Photo Gallery and Species Biology

This species is endemic to the Western Ghats (ssp. daksha) and Sri Lanka (spp. mooreanus).

StateJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecNo date
Andaman and Nicobar Islands UT
Andhra Pradesh
Arunachal Pradesh
Assam
Bihar
Chandigarh
Chhattisgarh
Dadra & Nagar Haveli UT
Daman & Diu UT
Delhi
Goa
Gujarat
Haryana
Himachal Pradesh
Jammu and Kashmir UT
Jharkhand
Karnataka2111
Kerala12
Ladakh UT
Lakshadweep
Madhya Pradesh
Maharashtra21552
Manipur
Meghalaya
Mizoram
Nagaland
Odisha
Puducherry UT
Punjab
Rajasthan
Sikkim
Tamil Nadu1
Tripura
Uttar Pradesh
Uttarakhand
West Bengal
Total212118612

Citrus limon, Clausena heptaphylla, Glycosmis pentaphylla, Phellodendron, Toddalia asiatica, Zanthoxylum acanthopodium, Zanthoxylum rhetsa (Rutaceae).

Key Reference:

Nitin, R., V. C. Balakrishnan, P. V. Churi, S. Kalesh, S. Prakash, and K. Kunte. 2018. Larval host plants of the butterflies of the Western Ghats, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa, 10:11495–11550.

For the complete list of larval host plants of Indian butterflies, see the page on larval host plants.

Joshi, J., and K. Kunte. 2022. Polytypy and systematics: diversification of Papilio swallowtail butterflies in the biogeographically complex Indo-Australian Region. bioRxiv, 2022.03.23.485569.

Condamine, F. L., R. Allio, E. L. Reboud, J. R. Dupuis, E. F. A. Toussaint, N. Mazet, S.-J. Hue, D. S. Lewis, K. Kunte, A. M. Cotton, F. A. H. Sperling. 2023. A comprehensive phylogeny and revised taxonomy illuminate the origin and diversification of the global radiation of Papilio (Lepidoptera: Papilionidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 107758.

Page citation

Kunte, K. 2024. Papilio daksha Hampson, [1889] – Large-spotted Helen. In Kunte, K., S. Sondhi, and P. Roy (Chief Editors). Butterflies of India, v. 4.12. Published by the Indian Foundation for Butterflies. URL: https://www.ifoundbutterflies.org/papilio-daksha, accessed 2024/02/28.