Papilio chikae (Igarashi, 1965)

 Mt St Thomas, Luzon, Philippines; May 28 1986  (Collection of R Sukimoto Japan, photo courtesy R Sukimoto)  Mt St Thomas, Luzon, Philippines female
Mt St Thomas, Luzon, Philippines male

    Recently described (1965), and with a very limited distribution, chikae is known only from N Luzon in the Philippines. It prefers forests above 1500 meters on the peaks and western slopes of the Cordillera central (Mt St. Thomas, areas around Bontoc and Baguio, the latter of which is a popular Summer resort area for the Japanese) and readily visits flowers. Apparently it flies year round and is easily captured, with specimens still in some demand in Japan. Currently listed as appendix I by CITES and endangered by the US Endangered Species Act, but collecting by tourists and locals who can get easy money for a specimen seems to go on. The Philippine government has done little to protect it as far as I am aware.

    A very recently described species, P. hermeli, found only on N Mindoro, is quite similar though with more red on the hindwings of the males and a rather spectacular amount of red on the females. It is currently ranked as a full species, but may turn out to be a subspecies of chikae, extending chikae's range to two Philippine islands. The two can be distinguished by the width of the tails: chikae has more spatulate tails, while those of hermelae are rather narrow.