Butterflies are cold blooded species, with its pleasing ANGELIC WINGS. Beautiful and graceful, varied and enchanting, small but approachable, butterflies lead you to the sunny side of life. Butterflies can be seen everywhere even at our houses, shops, malls and in gardens. Well at K’sirs, butterflies made frequent appearances. We K’sirians encounter various types of butterflies in our campus exclusively for the sweet nectar from the flowers blooming in our green abode. It was a fine day where we noticed a different species of butterfly with its sleek wings.
I’m writing a blog today because I went scouting to learn more about this spectacular beauty that got our attention, so why wait? Let’s jump into the world of “hipolimnas misippus” [the name of the species]
HYPOLIMNUS MISIPUS, the danaid eggfly, mimic or also known as diadem is a prevalent species of nymphalid butterfly. It is well known for polymorphism and mimicry. Where males are blackish with individual white spots that are fringed with the colour blue. The female is one of the best exemples of protective mimicry, resembling the unpalatable (to birds) Danaid Plain Tiger, Danaus chrysippus. The male however is quite different in appearance, being dark brown on the upperside, with circular white patches that reflect a deep purple sheen in bright sunlight. This species is legally protected in India under Schedule I as well as Schedule II of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972
There are found across or widely seen in Asia, Africa, and Australia also sometimes in some parts of Caribbean island, Northern South America occasionally in southern united states of America.
2 3/16 – 3 1/2 inches (5.6 – 9 cm).
It is adaptable to a variety of environments like savanna, desert, vegetated beaches, tropical rainforests and acacia scrub. This species of butterfly prefer woodlands, open areas, wetlands and are commonly found in small groups. The males is generally found perched on bushes with their wings half opened, or bask on the ground waiting for females. Females on the other hand are often found fluttering on open ground in search of a good site to lay their eggs. These are diurnal and fly from dawn to dusk, and predominantly rest with their wings closed. Their Caterpillars are found on plants such as the Acanthaceae (acanthus), Malvacaeae (mallow) and Convolvulaceae (morning glory). The adult butterfly forage on the nectar of Lantana camara, Hyptis suaveolens and many other flowers.
A female mates with a male and lays eggs that are either green or white, on the underside of the host leaves. The eggs develop into larvae that hatch within 2-3 days. The larvae, which are the caterpillars, then go through 5 moults for 13-18 days. The caterpillar feeds on the leaves of the plant that they were hatched on. The caterpillar turns into a pupa (chrysalis) where it is dormant and metamorphoses, after which it emerges as a butterfly.
this as cylindrical, black, with a darker black dorsal line, banded transversely with pale brown transverse tuberculated small spots; beneath dark olive-brown; legs and head brick-red; head furnished with two long black thick branched spines; the rest of the segments except the anal with ten branched spines, dirty, transparent white in colour and disposed in longitudinal rows, anal segment with two similar spines.
Pupa: Pendulous. Short and thick; light brown, without metallic spots, variegated and streaked with bistre, particularly towards the head and tail.
Hope this was an informative blog on hypolimnas misippus. We are looking forward to capture pics and write up about many more such iconic species .We can’t wait to welcome them back. Let’s see if he brings any new members for us to explore, readand write about. Until then, watch out this space for a variety of blogs…… cheerio.