Lemon Butterfly

Lemon butterfly (Papilio demoleus) is one of the highly damaging insect of citrus plants in Nepal. It’s life cycle completes in four stages, egg, larvae, pupa and adult. The larvae is voracious feeder of green leaves and its colour resembles to leaf colour due to which we can’t easily see it. The larvae stage is highly damaging.

(All the photos are taken by me around my home by using Redmi Note 8 android mobile)

Life cycle stages

Eggs are laid singly on the underside of leaf. Eggs are creamy yellow in colour and later turn to greyish. The incubation period of eggs is 5-9 days.

It is highly damaging stage of life cycle. There are five instar larvae stages before it changes to pupa. Each instar stage has different colour, shape and size and damaging nature. Larvae stage completes in 15-26 days.

Fully mature larvae then goes into complete resting phase known as pupa before turning into adult butterfly. When larvae eat enough, then it orient itself into wall head facing upward. Then network of silk secrete and cover the whole body. After some days silk cocoon rupture and adult butterfly come out. It takes 8-19 days to complete.

After successful pupate, the adult butterfly comes out rupturing the silk cocoon. The adult butterfly can only fly after 2-3 hours. The life span of adult butterfly is 4-6 days. Again adult lay eggs and life cycle continues.

  • Hand picking will be best if possible without using any chemicals.
  • field sanitation should be practised.
  • Neem based pesticides are also effective.
  • Trichogramma sp. can be used as egg parasitoid.
  • Endosulfan 35 EC can be used as chemical control.


  1. Jahnavi, M., Ramakrishna, R. A., & Sarada, G. (2018). Biology and morphology of citrus butterfly Papilio demoleus Linnaeus (Lepidoptera: Papilionidae) on acid lime. Journal of Entomology and Zoology Studies6(1), 1556-1561.

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