The Common Leopard Phalanta phalantha is a sun-loving butterfly of the Nymphalid or Brush-footed Butterfly family.
The Common Leopard is a medium sized butterfly with a wingspan of 50-55 mm with a tawny colour and marked with black spots. The underside of the butterfly is more glossy than the upper and both the male and female are similar looking. A more prominent purple gloss on the underside is found in the dry season form of this butterfly.
The butterfly is found in Sub-saharan Africa and Southern Asia (including Sri Lanka and Burma).
Widely distributed and abundant. To the tops of hills in Sri Lanka and southern India and up to 3,000 m in the Himalaya. The whole of Sub-saharan Africa
Sun loving and avoids shade. Seen in the plains, gardens and edges of clearings. Has active and sharp flight movements. Visits flowers regularly especially Lantana, Duranta, Meyenia laxiflora, Gymnosporia montana and thistles. Often seen mudpuddling from damp patches in the ground, either alone or in groups. A regular basker with wings spread wide open. It is commonest in dry areas and dry weather and absent from the wetter parts of India during the monsoon. It often perches on edges of clearing with wings half open and has the habit of chasing away other butterflies and guarding its territory
Larval host plants
Foodplants are species of family Bixaceae. It has been recorded breeding on Flacourtia ramontchi and Flacourtia montana