Glassy Tiger
Parantica aglea, Stoll

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Glassy Tiger male feeding on Heliotropium indicum

Wingspan 65-80 mm. The sexes are very similar. The male has scent patches on the hind wing; the pouch-shaped patch on vein 1 is larger than the one on vein 2. Both are more swollen and visible on the underside than on the upper side.

The upper side has numerous light gray streaks towards the base of the wings. The markings towards the outer margins are more or less oval .

The marks on the underside map well to the markings of the upper side, though some of the markings are lined by additional darker gray areas. Sometimes the markings are ill-defined and blurred.

The shape and size of the markings between specimens varies considerably. Some specimens lack the entire row of submarginal spots on the hind wing.

Similar species
Blue Tiger, Dark Blue Tiger, Female Dark Wanderer and Common Mime. More information.

Status, distribution and habitat
A very common butterfly that occurs up to 5000 feet over most of the island, except the north where it is rather uncommon. It flies all all year round and is found in home gardens, hedgerows, forests and wooded areas, often in the company of other Danaids. 

Its drab worn out look, small size and weak flight makes it easy to identify in the field. It is the slowest flier within the group and does a lot of flapping of its wings to move around. It  spends much of its time within five to ten feet above ground, rarely flying high up in the canopy. It is usually found in the company of other Danaids, specially the males when they congregate on the plants of Heliotropium or Crotalaria. It visits flowers for nectar and the male occasionally settles on wet soil. It is the most shade loving of all the Danaids in the group and is frequently seen nectaring on flowers of the undergrowth. Like other Danaids, it has chemical defenses that protect it against predators. When handled, it shams death and emits a foul smelling substance. 

More information about Danaids

Early stages
The larval food plants belong to the Asclepiadaceae and include Wattakaka volubilis, Tylophora indica, Cryptolepsis buchanani and Calotropis. Its favorite in the lowlands is Wattakaka volubilis. It prefers to lay eggs on the leaves nearest the ground and avoids the high canopy.

First instar larva

Pupa of Glassy Tiger

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Danaidae | Satyridae | Amathusiidae | Nymphalidae | Acraeidea | Libytheidae | Riodinidae | Lycaenidae | Pieridae | Papilionidae | Hesperidae