Indian Blue Mormon (Papilio polymnestor polymnestor), is the state butterfly of Maharashtra. It’s a large swallowtail butterfly, member of the ” Papilionidae” (BIRDWING) family. This species is endemic to India and Sri Lanka.
With a wingspan of 120–150 mm, it is the fourth largest butterfly of India. It is common and not thought to be threatened. It occurs throughout the year but more common in the monsoon and immediately after it. The butterfly is most common in heavy rainfall areas, such as evergreen forests. It is also common in deciduous forests and wooded urban areas, primarily due to the cultivation of its host plants, i.e. the Citrus species. This butterfly frequents forest paths and streams. The male is fond of sun and avoids the shade. The blue Mormon has been recorded as a pollinator of cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum). Blue Mormon is attracted to damp patch and has greater tolerance to other butterflies and humans while lapping up the mineral rich moisture.
In June 2015, the Blue Mormon was declared as the ‘State Butterfly’ of the state of Maharashtra and became the first state in India to have a ‘State Butterfly’.