The scarce swallowtail (Iphiclides podalirius) is a butterfly belonging to the family Papilionidae. It is also called the sail swallowtail or pear-tree swallowtail.
Despite the name “scarce swallowtail”, this species is quite common. This species is widespread in the East Palearctic ecozone and in most of Europe with the exception of the northern parts.
In some years the scarce swallowtail is quite abundant. The scarce swallowtail is getting rarer as the blackthorn bushes are being cleared. The butterfly is now protected by law in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, Russia, Ukraine and Poland.
These swallowtail butterflies inhabit gardens, towns as well as the countryside, in fields and open woodlands. They are found in places with sloe thickets and particularly orchards. In the Alps they can be found up to altitudes of 2000 m, but usually they prefer foothills and lower levels.
The presence of Iphiclides podalirius in the floodplain of the Morava River in the Slovak Republic have been found to be a good indicator of relatively well preserved xerothermic grassland habitats with forest-steppe vegetation, which have no cutting history. (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scarce_swallowtail)
photo and video by: Judit Hartdégen and Arnold Erdélyi, April 2019