One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A butterfly of a family ("Papilionidae" ) which includes the swallowtails, birdwings, and apollos. They are typically large and boldly marked, and most kinds have tail-like projections on the hindwings.
- ‘Like many nymphalid, papilionid, and hesperiid butterflies, male H. bolina occupy and defend perching sites in forest clearings and along flight paths as a means of maximizing their encounters with receptive females.’
- ‘Furthermore, these gene duplications evolved after the split between the common ancestor of nymphalid and papilionid butterflies.’
- ‘Like the other papilionids, the males can be seen drinking at seepages or on riverbanks, either singly or accompanied by several other specimens, or even other species.’
Late 19th century: from modern Latin Papilionidae (plural), from Latin papilio(n-) ‘butterfly’.
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