Male has abdominal fold within grey, furnished with a tuft of long, somewhat stiff white hairs.
Race teredon, Felder. (South India and Sri Lanka) is distinguishable in both sexes by the narrower medial band that crosses both fore and hind wing. Colour brighter, the contrast between the green of the upper and the blue of the lower portion of the medial band more vivid. Hind wing more produced posteriorly at apex of vein 3, where it forms an elongate tooth or short tail.
Variously reported with wingspans between 55 and 75 mm, the common bluebottle has black upper wings and brown lower wings. Both fore and hind wings are marked by a central spot in the form of a blue or blue-green triangle, with apex pointing toward the body.
The common bluebottle is known for quick flight and rapid reactions. It is difficult to catch.
Graphium sarpedon is primarily an inhabitant of moist, low-level rain forests (below 1600 m/5000 feet). In these elevations it is usually seen flying just above the tree canopy. The larvae of the common bluebottle feed on trees of the laurel family, which includes the cinnamon tree, and have expanded their range to include cinnamon tree plantations. In eastern Australia, they have adapted to a drier subtropical environment, and are commonly seen in suburban gardens in Queensland and New South Wales.
The males are known for their habit of feeding by the edges of puddles, often at the roadside. Occasionally, as many as eight will be seen at the same puddle. They have also been known to be attracted to animal droppings, carcasses and rotting insects.
The common bluebottle is distributed throughout south and southeast Asia. Subspecies appear in India and Sri Lanka (G. s. sarpedon and teredon), China and Taiwan (G. s. semifasciatus and connectens), Japan (G. s. nipponum), Indonesia and the Solomon Islands, New Guinea (G. s. messogis), and Australia (G. s. choredon). In India it occurs in Southern India in the Western Ghats and in the Himalayas from Kashmir in the west to Myanmar in the east.
The adult common bluebottle feeds on nectar from a variety of flowering herbs. The larvae feed primarily on the leaves of trees in the families Lauraceae, Myrtaceae, Sapotaceae, and Rutaceae. In particular, G.s. sarpedon and G.s. teredon often feed on leaves of the cinnamon bark tree, Cinnamomum zeylanica, or of the Indian laurel, Litsea sebifera.
The list of larval food plants also include Alseodaphne semecarpifolia, Cinnamomum camphora, Cinnamomum macrocarpum, Cinnamomum malabatrum, Litsea chinensis, Polyalthia longifolia, Miliusa tomentosa, Persea macrantha and Michelia doltospa.
The larvae of G.s. choredon, native to Australia, feed on many native Australian species of genera Cryptocarya and Litsea; and virtually all subspecies feed on leaves of the camphor tree, Cinnamomum camphori, which is native to China but has been naturalized throughout southeast Asia.