Crimson Rose

Atrophaneura hector

Crimson Rose Atrophaneura hector is a large swallowtail butterfly belonging to the subgenus Pachliopta (Roses) of the Red-bodied Swallowtails (genus Atrophaneura)

Range

It is found in India and Sri Lanka and possibly the coast of western Myanmar.

In India, it is found in the Western Ghats, southern India (Kerala), eastern India (West Bengal and Orissa) and the Andaman Islands. Recorded from Pune

Status

Generally common and not known to be threatened. It is common all along the Western Ghats up to Maharashtra but rare in Gujarat. It is considered to be very rare in the Amphrodog. Protected by law in India.

Habitat

This butterfly is at home both in jungle and in open country. During the dry season, it will be found up to 8000 feet (2400 m) in South India, but it is found all the year round at lower elevations.

Tawny Coster

Acraea terpsicore

The Tawny Coster (Acraea terpsicore) is a small leathery winged butterfly which is common in grassland and scrub habitats. It belongs to the Nymphalidae or brush-footed butterfly family. It has a weak fluttery flight. It is avoided by most insect predators. This species and the Yellow Coster Acraea issoria are the only two Indian representatives of the predominantly African tribe Acraeini.

Distribution

The butterfly is found in India and Sri Lanka. It is common all the year round and is equally at home in forest clearings and open country. Though mainly seen at low elevations it has been recorded at heights of up to 7,000 feet (2,100 m) in south India and sometimes in the North

Habitat

This is a butterfly of the hills as well as the plains. It is plentiful in the pre-monsoon and monsoon period and becomes scarce later on.

Habits

The butterfly exudes an oily and smelly yellow liquid when handled and is unpalatable to birds and most insects. They are well protected and have a slow and weak flight, frequently visiting flowers and are easily netted. There are no mimics in India.

Tailed Jay

Graphium agamemnon

The Tailed Jay (Graphium agamemnon) is a predominantly green and black tropical butterfly that belongs to the swallowtail family. The butterfly is also called Green Spotted Triangle, Tailed Green Jay or the Green Triangle. It is a common, non-threatened species native to India, Sri Lanka through Southeast Asia and into Australia. Several geographic races are recognized

Range

Southern India to Saurashtra, Northern India (Kumaon to Assam), Nepal, Sri Lanka, Andamans, Nicobars, Bangladesh, Brunei, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Kampuchea, southern China (including Hainan), Taiwan, South East Asia to New Guinea, Bougainville, Solomon Islands, and Australia (northern Queensland)

Status

Common and not threatened.

Habitat

Once found primarily close to wooded country where there is a fairly heavy rainfall, the Tailed Jay is now very common at low elevations and regularly seen in gardens and urban areas due to its foodplant, Polyalthia longifolia (False Ashoka or Mast Tree), being widely used as an ornamental tree.

Habits

Strong and restless fliers, they are very active butterflies and flutter their wings constantly even when at flowers. They are seldom seen drinking from damp patches. The males are particularly fond of nectaring from flowers such as Lantana, Ixora, Mussaenda and Poinsettia. The females are more likely caught when looking for foodplants or laying eggs.

Tailed Jays are active throughout the year but their abundance depends upon the local monsoon and availability of the larval host plants. The butterflies generally fly among the tree-tops but descend to ground level in search of flowers or host plants. Because of their relatively fast life cycle (just over one month from egg to adult), Tailed Jays are multivoltine and may produce up to 7–8 broods per year.

It has been noted in one instance to be attracted to lights at night

Common Mormon

Common Mormon

The Common Mormon Papilio polytes is a common species of swallowtail butterfly widely distributed across Asia. This butterfly is known for the mimicry displayed by the numerous forms of its females which mimic inedible Red-bodied Swallowtails, such as the Common Rose and the Crimson Rose

Status

Very common. Not threatened

Description

Jet black butterfly with row of white spots along the middle part of hindwing. 90-100 mm.

Mimicry

In India, this butterfly is considered as the classic example of Batesian Mimicry in which edible species resemble unpalatable butterflies in order to escape being eaten by predators.

A pair of Common Mormons

Danaid eggfly

 

Hypolimnas misippus(female)

The Danaid Eggfly or Mimic (Hypolimnas misippus) is a widespread species of nymphalid butterfly. It is well known for polymorphism and mimicry.

Female – Polymorphic:

First form: Upperside rich tawny. Fore wing: the costa, the apical half of the wing and the termen black, the inner margin of this black area follows a line crossing the cell obliquely and curving round to near apex of interspace 1 a; a white spot beyond apex of cell; an oblique band of elongate white spots, a more transverse short subapical series of three or four much smaller white spots, and an inner and an outer sub-terminal transverse series of very small slender white lunules. Hind wing: a transverse round spot in interspace 7, the terminal margin broadly black, the latter traversed by two transverse series of paired small white lunules. Cilia of fore and hind wings white alternated with black. Underside paler tawny yellow, the disc of the fore wing deeper tawny; the markings are much as on the upperside but differ as follows: Fore wing: three white spots along the anterior margin of cell, the black on the apical area beyond the oblique band of white spots replaced by golden. Hind wing: a black spot at base of vein 8, another at base of interspace 5, and a postdiscal transverse series of small white spots in addition to the markings as on the upperside.

Second form: Similar to the above but the disc of the hind wing on both upper and under sides white, =alcippoides, Butler.

Third form: Similar to the first form, but on the fore wing the oblique series of: elongate spots yellowish and tho middle portion of the black apical area tawny

 

Male: Upperside rich velvety dark brownish black. Fore wing: a broad oval oblique white spot from below vein 3 to vein 7, and a preapical smaller similar white spot; both spots crossed by black veins and surrounded by iridescent blue. Hind wing with a much larger similar rounded white spot, surrounded with iridescent blue, but the veins crossing it yellowish, not so prominent as on the fore wing; two or three minute specks of white at the tornus. Cilia of both fore and hind wings white alternated with black.

 

Pea Blue

Lampides boeticus

The Peablue (Lampides boeticus), or Long-tailed Blue, is a small butterfly found in Europe, Africa, South and Southeast Asia, and Australia that belongs to the Lycaenids or Blues family

Common Fourring

The Common Fourring Ypthima huebneri is a species of Satyrinae butterfly found in Asia.

Wet-season form

Upperside greyish brown. Fore wing with the usual comparatively large, bi-pupilled, yellow-ringed, black pre-apical ocellus. Hind wing usually with two, sometimes with three, very rarely without any, smaller similar uni-pupilled post-discal ocelli. Underside greyish white, not very densely covered with transverse short brown striae. Fore wing with the preapical ocellus as on the upperside, obscure discal and subterminal dull brown transverse fasciae and a narrow brown ring round the ocellus diffusely produced posteriorly. Hind wing with one apical and typically three postdiscal posterior ocelli placed in a curve; traces of transverse brown discal and subterminal fasciae in most specimens. Antenna, head, thorax and abdomen greyish brown, the abdomen paler beneath. Male without secondary sex-mark

Dry-season form

Similar, somewhat paler on both upper and under sides ; the discal and subterminal transverse fasciae more pronounced; the ocelli on the underside of the hind wing minute or absent

Wing expanse of 40-44 mm.

Distribution

Throughout peninsular India, Assam and Burma

 

 

 

Common Leopard

 

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.

Distribution

The butterfly is found in Sub-saharan Africa and Southern Asia (including Sri Lanka and Burma).

Status

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

Habits

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

Lemon Pansy

The Lemon Pansy Junonia lemonias is a common nymphalid butterfly found in South Asia. It is found in gardens, fallow land, and open wooded areas.

Description

It is brown with numerous eye-spots as well as black and lemon-yellow spots and lines on the upperside of the wings. The underside is a dull brown, with a number of wavy lines and spots in varying shades of brown and black. There is also an eyespot on the lower side of the forewing. The wet and dry season forms differ considerably in coloration and even shape. In the wet season form the markings are distinct and vivid and the wing shape is a little more rounded. In the dry season form the markings are obscure and pale especially on the underside and the wing margin is more angular and jagged. This helps it camouflage in the dried leaf-litter. The Lemon pansy is a very active butterfly and can be seen basking with its wings open facing the sun. It sits very low to the ground and can be approached easily. It feeds with its wings half open. It is a fairly strong flier and flies close to the ground with rapid wingbeats and often returns to settle back in the same spots.

Eggs

Eggs are laid singly on the underside of leaves. The egg is green and barrel-shaped with longitudinal ridges.

Caterpillar

The caterpillar is cylindrical, uniformly thick and covered with rows of spines which are branched at the tip. It is dull black with a faint blue sheen and has dorsal stripe of a darker color. There is a distinct orange ring behind the head. The caterpillar stays on the underside of the leaf and if disturbed, rolls up and drops to the ground.

Pupa

Pupation takes place in dense foliage close to the ground. The pupa is compact, with small conical processes on its rough surface. The pupa is well camouflaged with varying shades of brown with fine streaks and lines

 

Dark Blue Tiger

Tirumala septentrionis

The Dark Blue Tiger (Tirumala septentrionis) is a Danaid butterfly found in South and Southeast Asia.

Closely resembles Tirumala limniace, Cramer, but is always sufficiently distinct to be easily recognized, even on the wing.

Expanse: 80-115 mm.

Range

The Himalayas from Simla to Sikhim, into Assam, Myanmar and Southeast Asia; Orissa ; Southern India., the Western Ghats and Nilgiris; Sri Lanka.

Habits

This species is one of the predominant species (78%) during the migratory season in southern India during which many species migrate. Both males and females appear to migrate in equal numbers.

Life cycle

Caterpillar is similar to that of T. limniace . It is said by MacKinnon and de Niceville to feed on Vallaris dichotoma Other species include Cosmostigma racemosa Heterostemma brownii and Cocculus spp

Spotted From

Wayanad, Kerala.

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