Saturday, September 13, 2008

Plain Tiger Butterfly

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Photographer: deadmanswill, Neelima

Insect Scout: deadmanswill, Neelima

Location: Miryalaguda, AP, India

Species Identifier(s): Wallby1 (http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/901966/)

Points to appreciate:
  • Observe the white polka dots all over its body. It is very characteristic of this species.
  • The wings of all butterflies are covered with minute scales that give the unique design to each species.
Wikipedia Notes:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danaus_chrysippus
  • The Plain Tiger (Danaus chrysippus) or - outside Asia - African Monarch is a common butterfly which is widespread in Asia and Africa. It belongs to the danaine ("Crows and Tigers") subfamily of the brushfooted butterfly family Nymphalidae.
  • It is believed to be one of the first butterflies to be used in art. A 3500 year old Egyptian fresco in Luxor features the oldest illustration of this species.
  • The Plain Tiger can be considered the archetypical danaine of India.
  • The Plain Tiger is a medium sized butterfly with a wingspan of about 7–8 cm. The body is black with many white spots.
  • The male Plain Tiger is smaller than the female, but more brightly colored.
  • The range of the Plain Tiger extends from Africa and southern Europe, eastwards via Sri Lanka, India, and Myanmar to China and Sulawesi. It is a very common species.
  • The Plain Tiger is protected from attacks due to the unpalatable alkaloids ingested during the larval stages. The butterfly therefore flies slowly and leisurely, generally close to the ground and in a straight line. This gives a would-be predator ample time to recognise and avoid attacking it. Inexperienced predators will try attacking it, but will learn soon enough to avoid this butterfly as the alkoloids in its body cause vomiting.

2 comments:

Kumud said...

can you identify a couple of butterflies? I took some snaps in the garden but am not sure about their identity. I have a field guidebook but its not of much help.

deadmanswill said...

Hi Kumud, I have not much knowledge of insects in butterflies. I submit my pics to online insect forums and they identify it for me. I suggest you try there.