The Common Lime is a common and widespread swallowtail butterfly. Unlike most swallowtail butterflies, it does not have a prominent tail. It has a wingspan 80–100 mm.
Above, the background colour is black. A broad, irregular yellow band is found on the wings above, which is broken in the case of the forewing. Besides this the butterfly has a large number of irregular spots on the wing. The upper hindwing has a red tornal spot with blue edging around it.