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Male Cruisers on bird droppings and Eupatorium odoratum
Wingspan of 80-100 mm. The male is bright orange above and below, while the female is a beautiful pale sky blue above and straw coloured below. The male is smaller than the female. The dry season and wet season forms of this butterfly show marked variation in both size and intensity of colour, and the width of the bands.
Status, distribution and habitat
It is an uncommon butterfly found in the intermediate and wet zones of the island wherever suitable forest cover exists. It rarely visits home gardens or cultivated areas, unless they are in very close proximity to a forest. In the dry zone, it may be found in riparian forests and at the foot hills but rarely elsewhere. March and April are the best times to see it in the wet zone, while October and November are the best times in the intermediate and dry zones. The female is quite scarce and retiring.
This is a very striking butterfly that gets your attention very quickly. It exploits all levels of the forest and may be seen nectaring on blooms high up in the canopy, on flowers of small trees or shrubs, or on wild flowers in forest glades. It has the habit of continuously opening and closings its wings as it feeds on nectar. The males often settle on wet soil, bird droppings and carrion. The males hill-top, especially in hills and hillocks that are scattered in the intermediate and dry zones.
The larvae feed on Adenia hondala, a member of the passion family. Its fruits are poisonous to humans.
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