Euthalia acontheae vasanta, Moore

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Female Baron

Wingspan 50-80 mm. A medium to large brown butterfly. The sexes are dissimilar. The upperside of the male is dark velvety brown with darker bands and spots. The upperside of the female is a paler brown. Both sexes have a beautiful olivaceous sheen on the upperside, particularly in the freshly emerged specimens; their under sides are pale gray. The male is much smaller than the female.

Similar species

Status, distribution and habitat
It is common over most of the island but is rare towards the north or above 3000 feet elevation. It prefers well wooded areas with open spaces, and home gardens would do just  fine. Though commonest during the rains, individuals may be seen all year round. 

The female is far more abundant than the male. Both sexes are somewhat shy and must be approached cautiously to observe closely. It has a typical nymphalid flight - a few powerful wing beats followed by a spell of gliding with its wings held horizontal. At the end of the power stroke, as in others in its group, the wings stop abruptly when they reach the horizontal plane. Although this butterfly is seen at ground level on fallen fruit or other fermenting material, it spends time in the high up in the trees to feed on oozing tree sap or ripe fruit still attached to the tree. Inaccessible ripe jack fruit opened up by bats or crows is a sure place to see this butterfly high up in the canopy, often in the company of others of its kind.

It feeds avidly on its food sources. And sometimes, it sucks up the juices from one end and expunges the excess water from its heavily distended abdomen from the other end, all at the same time. When disturbed, it flies away quickly to settle at some height on a tree, usually at the edge of a leaf facing the sunny side. At other times, when it feels less threatened, it simply flies away a short distance staying just a few inches above ground. However, it often comes back to its food source a few minutes later. It may be seen around the same location day after day.

Early stages
The eggs are laid singly on the leaves of mango (Magnifera indica) or cashew trees (Anacardium occidentale). The larva always sits along the midrib of the leaf while at rest. The large number of finely branched pale green spines that radiate horizontally from its body disrupt the colors very well, and make it virtually invisible to the casual observer.


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