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Ceylon Tiger nectaring on Ageratum conicoides
A large butterfly with a wingspan of 80-90 mm. Sexes alike. The scent patches on the male are elongate. They are located on veins 1a and 1b towards the distal end of the hind wings. The scent patch on 1b is twice as large as the one on 1a.
The upper surface of both wings is a beautiful rich dark chocolate brown with bright greenish white markings. The forewings display two distinct streaks starting at the base of the wings; the hind wing has similar markings. Both upper wing surfaces have a number of rounded spots towards the outer margins.
The markings on the underside correspond to those on the upper surface but are lighter in color.
None and only found in Sri Lanka.
Status, distribution and habitat
A butterfly of the high tree canopy and is restricted to central mountain forests above 3000 feet. It occasionally strays into the gardens of bungalows in tea plantations. It is not uncommon.
A very striking butterfly with very contrasting colors in flight. It is noticeably faster on the wing than other Danaids. On sunny days, it flies about a great deal, but often high in the treetops. It descends to nectar on wayside flowers; while feeding, it hangs on the flowers at an incline with wings partly open. Its favorite nectaring source is Ageratum.
More information on Danaids
The larval food plant is Ceropegia thwaitesei, a twining creeper belonging to the Asclepiadaceae.
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Danaidae | Satyridae | Amathusiidae | Nymphalidae | Acraeidea | Libytheidae | Riodinidae | Lycaenidae | Pieridae | Papilionidae | Hesperidae