Papilio polymnestor or the Blue Mormon is one of the most beautiful butterflies found in the Machan forest among the 90 species that have been recorded in the 25-acre property. On the 22nd of June, 2015, the Maharashtra Government declared the Blue Mormon as the state butterfly of Maharashtra. This event made Maharashtra the first state in India to have a state butterfly.
The blue Mormon is the fourth largest butterfly of India with a wingspan of 120-150 mm. It has a velvety black and blue coloration and is endemic to India and Sri Lanka. Within India, its range is restricted to the Western Ghats and Southern India.
It is not thought to be threatened and is thus listed under the Least Concern status of the International Union for Conservation Nature (IUCN) Red List. It occurs throughout the year but is more commonly seen during monsoons and post-monsoons.
After modifications in the landscape and cultivation of citrus plants, the population of Papilio polymnestor has increased due to the availability of its food plants of the family Rutaceae.
At the Machan, it is often seen in the butterfly garden and even inside the regenerated forest sucking nectar from the Ixora flowers or the snake weeds.