The Peacock Pansy (Junonia almana) is a species of nymphalid butterfly found in South Asia
A small to medium sized orange butterfly with large eye spots on the upper side of hind wings, and smaller ones on the fore wing. The sexes are similar in colour and pattern. The females is usually larger. The short wavy black bands that emanate from the coastal margins are distinctive. The under side is variable. Some specimens have very small markings against a light ground colour, while others have more prominent eyes and richer colors.
Junonia is an important genus of Family Nymphalidae of Lepidoptera. It comprises brightly marked and beautifully coloured sun-loving butterflies collectively referred to as Pansies. These are a regular and attractive feature of the Indian countryside. The change of name from Precis to Junonia brings sighs of nostalgia to older Indian aurelians who have fond memories of growing up with the Precis-based scientific butterflies.
India and Southeast Asia into China, and Japan.
Status and Habitat
A widely distributed species that is found all over India but is scarce at elevations above 3000 feet. This is an edge species and can be seen around rice fields more frequently than at any other location. It may be seen almost year round though its numbers peak only during the monsoons.
Its habits are very similar to the Chocolate Soldier or Lemon Pansy and it joins migratory flights. The large eyes are displayed suddenly when the butterfly opens its wings – this unexpected visual signal presumably confuses the predator and takes it by surprise.
The larvae feed on plants of the Acanthaceae
Taken from Payyanur , Kerala India.