Egg: Yellowish white, round, smooth eggs are laid singly on tender leaves and shoots by P. demoleus. Egg hatches in about 3 – 8 days.
Larva: Freshly hatched caterpillars are dark brown and soon develop irregular white markings on their body resembling bird’s drop. The caterpillars feed voraciously on tender leaves right up to the mid ribs and defoliate the entire seedlings or the tree leaving behind only the midribs.
Pupa: The caterpillars attach themselves to branches with silk, transforming into pupae. They remain in the pupal form for 2–3 weeks before emerging as adults.
Adult: P. demoleus is a big beautiful butterfly with yellow and black markings on all the four wings, having wing expanse of about 50-60 mm. Its hind wings have a brick red oval patch near the anal margin and there is no tail like extension behind though common in Papilionidae. P. polytesmales are black and females vary in form. P. helenushas black wings with three white distal spots.
- The larval population density will be high during October to December months and July to December is the most favourable period of its activity in general.
- Citrus butterfly was able to survive during the winter even though temperatures dropped below 0°C.
- Caterpillars prefers on light green tender leaves
- Feeding voraciously and leaving only the mid-ribs
- Severe infestation the entire tree gets defoliated.