The Corsican Swallowtail (Papilio hospiton) is restricted to the islands of Sardinia (Italy) and Corsica (France) in the Mediterranean Sea, where it is extremely localized. It is found at altitudes 600-1500 m above sea level in the mountains. This species has declined dramatically through the impact of habitat destruction, commercial collecting and destruction of its foodplants (fennel) by agricultural practices. The foodplants are believed to be poisonous to sheep and are destroyed by fires started by local people. This is one of Europe’s most seriously endangered butterflies.
The photographed specimen was collected from Sardinia in 1897, and it was donated to the Manchester Museum by Robert W. Lloyd with his collection of European butterflies in August 1958. In total, there are 22 specimens of this unique species in the Museum, collected both from Corsica and Sardinia and acquired from such famous collectors as C.H. Schill, P. Schill, D. Longsdon and R.W. Llloyd.