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Madagascan Pipevine swallowtail butterfly
The Madagascan Pipevine Swallowtail Pharmacophagus antenor (Drury 1773). Strong late 18th Century illustration with contemporary colouring following its discovery. As a member of the Troidini tribe this species is more akin to the South East Asian fauna than the African - despite Madagascar's proximity to Africa. This general Malagasy trend is a result of the strange biogeography of Madagascar that includes Gondwanan survivals, Laurasian stepping stones, and long distance dispersal via the prevailing easterly winds and Indian Ocean currents. One specimen (perhaps this one) entered the vast collection of William Hunter (brother of Jon Hunter) at the end of the 18th century (now the Hunterian collection Glasgow). An article by EG Hancock 2008 outlines the butterflies discovery in relation to William Hunter's collection
© PAUL D STEWART/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY