The Scarce Swallowtail is a butterfly found in gardens, fields and open woodlands. You can come across it in places with sloe thickets and particularly orchards. It is widespread throughout Europe with the exception of the northern parts. Its range extends northwards to Saxony and central Poland and eastwards across Asia Minor and Transcaucasia as far as Iran and western China. A few specimens of the Scarce Swallowtail have been reported from central Sweden and England but they were probably only strays and not migrants. In the Alps it can be found up to altitudes of 1600 m.

In some years the Scarce Swallotail is quite abundant. The caterpillars spin little pads on leaves and grip them firmly. The newly hatched caterpillar is dark in colour with two smaller and two bigger greenish patches on the dorsal side, later they are greenish with yellowish dorsal and side stripes. The summer chrysalides are green as a rule, the hibernating ones are brown. A number of hibernating chrysalides fall prey to various enemies. The Scarce Swallowtail is getting rarer as the blackthorn bushes are being cleared; and it is now protected in some central European countries.

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