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Wingspan of 45-60 mm. A medium-sized rusty brown butterfly with distinct wavy wing margins. The upper side is marked with fine wavy black lines over the entire wing surface. The white spot below the costal margin of the forewing is distinctive. The underside is much darker than the upper side and has a few wavy bands bounded by faint black lines. The center of the largest band on the hind wing has a black disjointed streak running its length. The male is darker in colour. The 5th and 6th veins on the upper side hind wing are shining white and are not crossed by the wavy black lines.
Common Castor. The margins of the wings are less wavy. The wavy black lines on the upper side are more numerous and more angular, specially the forewing. The bands on the underside hind wing are similar, but they are hardly visible because of the dark background colour.
Status, distribution and habitat
It is found in all the climatic zones from sea level to about 3000 feet elevation. However, it prefers the dry and intermediate zones. It is found all year round in small numbers and favors open scrub land. It is common in secondary forests, waste places, and specially along sunny property boundaries with overgrown vegetation.
It has a weak flight and stays just a few feet above ground, frequently settling on flowers or other vegetaion in its habitat. The flight is characteristic - a few downward power strokes followed by a short spell of gliding with its wings held horizontal. Once settled, it opens its wings completely, occasionally moving them back and forth in a slow deliberate manner. Both sexes visit flowers readily.
The larvae feed on nettles (Tragia cannabina, T. involucrata) and the castor plant (Ricinus communis).
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